Sunday, September 8, 2013

Windows and Doors.

There are some evenings when it feels as though the every day activity of taking a walk with the dog, turns into something different and quite unexpected. Those are the times when it feels that I am floating through a work of art-a grateful yet invisible onlooker. Whether it is a poem, a painting, or a sonata, I cannot say. But every sight becomes story, bathed in golden light and told without effort.

Tonight for example.

One moss covered walkway just into the journey leads up to a screen door. It opens and the orange tabby cat rushes silently out into the yard, seamlessly dodging between muddied garden boots.

The brick tudor down the street has it's kitchen window overlooking a side garden of hollyhock and lavender. A silver haired woman washes dishes at the sink. I catch her smile to herself as she adds more soap to the water. Behind her on the back wall there are family portraits and people sitting at the kitchen table with their coffee laughing.

Several houses later the youngest of the three daughters is learning to play Clair De Lune. I know because I have seen them in the yard before and their mother has called her in to practice. She struggles to focus tonight. There is the start and stop of keys. The phone rings and the TV competes for sound waves.

On the way back the dog on the cement steps just a few yards from ours keeps his usual post. His chest rises and falls with his breathing. I am afraid to interrupt his slumber with our passing, but no need. It seems all we warrant is a raise of his ear and a sigh. We are not who he is waiting for.

Back in my kitchen, I knead the dough and place it into bread pans given to me before I was married. My husband hands me the embroidered dish cloth that used to belong to his Grandma Ruth. Now we use it to cover the cinnamon raisin bread as it rises. The sound of the coffee maker finishes its last gurgling spurt. He pours me my cup and I go to water the fiery, orange mum under our lamp post.

A young boy passes by the driveway with a baseball glove in hand and looks up at our front porch. In a brief moment his observing gaze catches mine and he smiles. It has come full circle. He is seeing me and the stories I have to tell. It is there in that moment with his freckled,boyish grin where it all becomes clear. None of us on this block or any other are the onlookers. Rather we are part of a street-symphony greater than any composer could convey,any writer could attempt to narrate, or any painter attempt to convey.

We are living the untouchable masterpieces of the every day in between.

As I rolled up the hose and walked back inside, I couldn't help but think of the silver haired woman over her sink of dishes, and that maybe, just maybe, the grandeur of this idea was the secret behind her knowing smile.

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