Thursday, September 11, 2008

Year turning

Anniversary means year turning.

Another year has turned and brought me back to this day that I remember fondly, not for the planes that crashed seven years ago but for the bittersweet moments I shared four years ago today. Those moments have been on my mind a lot over the past few days and a message yesterday brought them all back with stunning clarity.

Four years ago I thought I'd be in a different place than I am now, but I'm not unhappy with where I am. Checks arrive in the mail in payment for articles and books and unexpected windfalls arrive just when they're needed. People I love and have loved return and share their time apart. Through it all the one constant is the writing.

A few nights ago I was reading in bed, engrossed in the words and world spun with such artful grace that I didn't notice the slow beating of my heart. I had been upset a few moments before by a phone call and was getting back to center with a book, as is often the case. Outside in the darkness, summer's heartbeat worked its magic and my heart beat in time with it. That's when I realized that crickets singing in the night perform this miracle every time they sing and I had missed it until that moment. Cricket song has the same rhythm as a strong beating heart untouched by care and contention.

Since that night, I have fallen asleep feeling the blood coursing through my veins and arteries and my heart beating in time with the summer's heart, slowly lulling me to sleep with a rhythm as old as time and older than humans walking on this earth. No wonder the Chinese believe a cricket in the house is good luck. Even one cricket singing it's summer love song would be enough to pull us back toward the center with a strong and slow beating heart that smooths away the daily irritations and readies us for healing sleep.

There are four years of healing sleep between me and that wonderful day I shared with such open joy and optimistic dreams and yet the past pulls at me and reminds me of what could have been. It is those moments, preserved like bright treasures that remind me how lucky I have been and how blessed I continue to be. As long as I remember those moments, the turning year will keep me centered and content like the summer's heartbeat.

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