The Taste of a Strawberry

So very hard to stay in this moment right now and not look ahead nor behind. It is. You know it because you live it because you are like almost every single person on this planet, yearning for something already been or something yet to be. But I will not fall into the sand trap of perpetuity. Not anymore.

Today, the snow fell. In the morning, I walked to the curb to retrieve the newspaper. The street was silent and still, perfect crisp ice-air and a pink sunrise so compelling I wanted to walk briskly through the neighborhood with music in my ears.

I didn’t. I went back inside and read every single newspaper from the last week that I hadn’t made time for until today. After an hour, as I worked back from Saturday to Thursday to Tuesday, I realized the ridiculousness in reading Tuesday’s news five days later. And so I dumped it in the recycle bin.

That walk that never was. And I drove in clear streets and gray skies to my destination, walked in the door, smiled upon smiles under fluorescent lighting and beaming people for hours.

When I left, the snow had been falling for a while. I’d heard tales of white-outs on the highway and slipping beneath spinning tires. It was my turn to brave the elements and I did and I slipped and I slid and I drove and I watched and I listened. At one point, I had to shut off the radio to concentrate.

But I got to where I was going and I found clarity in chakras and buzzing in my head which signified nothing more than an openness to wisdom. My heart, I was told, was in protective mode but open. Also good.

When I again steered onto snow-drifted roads, nothing fell from the sky.

The day began in soundless perfection and ended with a sunset full of hope and kindness.

In the dark of this night, I started searching on pandora for Johnny Cash or June Carter Cash, reminded as I was of their impossible soul-swallowing love. Before I could create the station, though, Joshua Radin began to play a song called Sky and it was beautiful and so I listened.

That’s the thing about the moment at hand. It’s here. Now. Held in my hand like a marble. Each note, each vibrating guitar string, each syllable of a lyric thought and felt before committed to paper.

It is dark where I sit. I am happy. Another song has begun, a good one.

If I can do anything in this, my second attempt at life, it will be to embrace this very thing happening under my feet until it morphs into the next. I cannot spend any more of my precious time focused forward on the what-ifs and the I-shoulds.

For now, I will bathe in the metaphors and taste the strawberries, even if they are out of season. The season will come as it always does and I will bend to the dirt with my children and pick strawberries plush and soft and fragrant in the fields. I will fold my tongue around them and let them melt in my mouth and bring home bags full of them so that we can all indeed taste the flavor of that day.

That’s the beauty of this life: so full of surprises and gifts, every moment like a tiny rich chocolate left on my pillow. I have so much. And I can see it like the night sky, like the sunrise, like the way the water cuts up under the sleek sheath of the boat, like the sound of the sky and the birds winging beneath drifting clouds, like the water braiding around rocks in a river always headed somewhere.

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