Salt, drift, salvation

While the boys sleep, they turn salty. What’s left of their day’s play and tears rises out of their pores, and every morning when I open the door to their room I’m greeted by their salty dreams. Lucy sleeps there too (it’s a proper sleeping cave), so there can be a touch of the dog-closed-up-in-a-room-for-eight-hours thing, but heck, boys and dogs go together.

The world’s gone golden in this part of O-H-I-O, which is maybe why my sense of all things feels particularly intense. I suppose it’s a good thing I don’t experience the world like this all of the time; I imagine that could exhaust a person, which makes me think about Jonah and his fellow autistics living about in the world. Rather than feel less—which is how autism was/is mistakenly characterized so often—I’m pretty sure he feels more. Of everything. What a charge that must be. Exciting, stimulating, consuming, taxing. Did I say overwhelming?

Our days have been a mix of that intense charge and the ever-need to plow to the end of the row. Good things are happening that I don’t have words to express. Autumn is a working season. Besides the day-to-day maintenance that life requires—laundry, meals, school drop-offs and pick-ups, cleaning (dog hair dog hair dog hair) and toilet mop-ups (when will the G stop missing the hole?)—there’s the obvious winter preparation. The boys and I cleared the vegetable garden and started dumping leaves to compost (So Much Better than Bagging). I had a date with the weed whacker and cleared the native garden John planted out back to stave off the flood waters that inevitably drain their way into our basement otherwise.

Something I’ve noticed, something I’m wondering: the way the wind pools all manner of detritus in the same places—a dip in the sidewalk leading up to the house; up against the back wall of the house on the other side of the black iron gate; along a 2′ x 4′ stretch of the driveway up against the north/south fence; to the west of Denny’s maple, to the north and south of our stand of pines (the tallest of which Gabriel discovered he could climb this week).

I drift back to the same nooks and sinkholes. There’s nothing particularly profound  in that, though acknowledging the reality of my own drift might be useful, if only to stave off the inevitable hypocrisy. The detritus still collects—the better to gather it in for garden compost. What if a small hundred deaths can make something grow? Which Fr. Nicholas said this morning is the miracle of salvation.

Like I said, don’t quite have the words. I’m reaching but still scattered. Better to continue putting my hand to the rake in the yard. These salty boys want to jump, and I like how it feels like Kansas a little, with the wind whipping us around.

leaf plant

g pine

j happy leaves



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