THE IMAGINED JAY
the imagined jay
Suddenly there were five offers, then six for the house, small, nestled in the trees, back off the road, on one-and-a-half acres, bordered in the back by a ranch with trees that stretched to the horizon. The first offer had backed out. We were second in line, we thought. The listing realtor said the sellers were going to consider all offers over the weekend. They wanted to be sure they would leave their house to “the right people.”
We wrote a letter to them, at the suggestion of our realtor, how we had looked now for months for the perfect house and theirs was it. We provided photos of our current house, how cared-for it had been, with its raised garden beds, now full with lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, onions, beets etc., all the flower boxes and the strawberries, and herbs garden. We wrote how our daughters lived in Texas and we wanted to be near them. My wife cried when she read it. The realtor cried and read it to her husband. We offered five-thousand over asking price. It was a small house, but it was made for us we thought. It was enchanted with its sprawling live oak trees in the back yard. We envisioned candles, night birds…
The winners were from California. They offered cash and twenty-thousand over asking price. It would be their part-time house. It would sit vacant half the year, its ambiance lost in emptiness, moonlight searching for signs of life, like the lighthouse in Virginia Woolf’s novel. No one would tend a garden, rub there hand over the rosemary leaves in the yard.
Moving on is difficult, even from these lesser disappointments in a life.
Dreams are real, but until we occupy them, they are only dreams.
I watched the catmint diminish last Fall, watched it turn brownish. I didn't water it in the 100 degree heat. It grayed and became brittle. If I brushed against it the stems broke and the leaves fell unrecognizable to the ground.
Today from the center it aims, bright green, through the snow, at the blue sky. Around this soft and new growth an aura of a dried season, where the plant went waiting for another year.
I try to take cues from nature as to how I can or should live within my world, which is often quite different, with its own dangers and supports. I would like to understand what the catmint knows, that it can give in to gray and fade into winter.
After several months work, I'm happy to have my new website open.It has been an unseasonably warm February and March in the Ozarks, temperatures rising into the mid and upper 70s during the day. Today I was editing poems for Every Day Poems and while posting a poem by Sara Teasdale, There Will Come Soft Rains, it began to snow outside my window.