in between

This time each year I like to reflect on the highs and lessons learned, this is the year the planets nearly touched. 

This was the year Jupiter and Saturn crossed paths after 800 years apart. They looked like two minuscule dots in the sky. Isn't it striking how we are tinier than grains of sand, yet from our insect perspective, see the planets equally as small? Nearly untraceable in the blur of street lamps and fluorescent store fronts flickering out like dying candles. 

While slicing zucchini to fry them with mushrooms, the smell of the freshly washed white mushrooms reminded me of a childhood memory. The smell of earth and soil, smelled just like the mushrooms I washed and patted with a paper towel for lunch.

There was a building on the side of a road where my mom took me along for a ride to grow mushrooms. That side of the road had a giant truck tire, like a mail post, marking the spot. The building was long and narrow, no windows or light, with rows of shelves going up and up further than I could see. On each shelf there were little white mushrooms peeking out from the black soil. My mom attended to each one with tenderness and care, and I watched and sank my fingers in the moist edges of the shelves as I trailed behind her. It was very warm inside the darkness and while I remember feeling like I was holding my breath, it also felt like we were alone together in space. Seeing the line of light as she opened the door and called for me to leave was a pang in my heart. 

Looking back, I remember all our walks around the pond and weekend bike trips to the beach. Those moments under the shade of our favorite tree by the harbor, listening to the waves crashing with the rocks below, the summer wind tangling my hair and curling the pages of my book. Sharing a serving of fries and a cold coffee. Those were the early days of sticky pages, summer sunsets, hard laughter and watery eyes. The end of fall and coming of winter did something to me, made it harder to get out of bed. No matter how much I sleep, I am still always tired and my eyes are swollen. If it were up to me, I'd do it all over again. Stop chasing time. I'd like to be lying on my beach towel at the park, listening to the wind and watching the trembling leaves and clouds move along like a speeding train while I remain perfectly still. 

As I write this, I hear my family chatting about this or that. The lights on the holiday tree reflect in a decorative mirror on the desk, and when the voices quiet I hear the highway and the thunder of fireworks rumbling somewhere far away but close. I know I have to go and share a celebratory toast. My body feels heavy and warm, full of hearty meals and several cups of tea. I feel a thudding in my chest and observe the blue and green lights in the mirror, remembering and not quite ready to move.

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