The rooster crows into darkness as the full moon set hours ago. Does he know about the feed, how the ingredients shifted and his hens are not laying? He knows enough to call to us when we forget the noon release, or if we fail to feed his flock the night before. He tells us, when we walk out the door, if there is a need in the hen house. He crows for a purpose, every time, it just takes attention. He does announce morning, too, religiously.
My mother raised me with roosters. She celebrates her 86th birthday today. She still walks to church, takes communion to shut-ins, maintains her garden, and concerns herself daily with the weather (literal, intellectual, spiritual and emotional) of her neighbors, her community, and her nine far-flung children. I dare you to try and learn a word about her. She defies every attempt. The topic will be about you before you even recognize the silken turn in the conversation. She converses with purpose, every time, because she pays attention. Her birthday made a baker’s dozen, extending the twelve days just one more.
Last year’s kale lived all winter. My fingers couldn’t wrap all the way around the green stem emerging from the rocks of the raised bed. It went to seed this Spring, and by late summer, I saved resilient pods. With only a few weeks to go before this fall’s first frost, I tossed them back into their birth bed, half-hopefully. Maybe as the cold comes I can create a plastic cover for them, a “hot house”, or “cold frame”, or other such name – it’s all the same: capture the Sun, condense the liquid, refeed the seed. Those will be the grandbabies of the momma plant. Does that make me Grandma too?
“I will not deny my child the privilege of failure.”
Shall I remind again of the deadline, or let it slide past? Will building him up fool him into thinking he climbed that on his own, or set him on a path so he’s not overwhelmed when the air gets thin and the slopes so steep? Will allowing him to fall devastate to the point that dusting off and trying again is no longer a perceived option? I fear the weight of failure tethering him forever.
Fear never freed anyone. How in God’s name do you free a child ? Faith, that’s how. I opt for Silence, and wait patiently. Time will tell. The climb is his.
For Joy, focus attention and watch until there is little room for expectations. What is true appears. Attending is Love. Allow them to become exactly who they are, each one in its time.
Attend the bee on the goldenrod, the children on vacation, the self.
These days of transition tear at the soul, threatening existential loneliness. The season mirrors the dying inside. The daily definition “Mom” drains away, like the green of active production mellows into yellow leaves. Winter winds soon blow at the door of my life, threatening to lay me bare. I stand, eyes on the fledglings, proud of my work, and faithful. There will be a Spring and a new version of myself.