I’m back

It is so strange to be back in the city.

It is raining, I cannot ride my bicycle. The air is cold and grey- there is fruit out there, ripening, figs and blackberries, but I do not know how to find them. Last September it was not like this- last September there was long yellow light and the sidewalks were strewn with walnuts and moldering flower petals.

It is hard to leave the forest. They dry, breezy forest where I have slept these last five months. In the forest there are always good smells, pine pitch and green things, everything is fresh, there is dust, and small mammals with bright black eyes who make their lives in the dirt and the moss and in the food cabinet of the outdoor kitchen, in a crumpled plastic bag. They eat the bag of green tea that was left there. They eat fifteen grains of brown rice. They do not want the rice cakes. No-one wants the rice cakes, not even me. Rice cakes are famine food, although I did not used to feel this way. The mice build a nest of hair and cloth fibers behind the bottle of olive-oil. They have just gotten settled when I wake them, mid-day, and they stumble out on their hopping gerbil-feet and huddle, confused and disoriented. I can not bear to scold them because they eat green tea-leaves and harm no-one. Gentle beings with their tiny, beating hearts.

It is so strange to be back in the city. I woke too early this morning, all the world was present in the warm damp wind from the window- jet-planes were in attendance, and freight trains, and buses, and garbage trucks with their crashing sounds of glass like windows breaking. If only there were the sounds of water running underground, and the clatter of breakfast dishes, and stars exploding. But it is hard to be present to the whole world at once- my ignorance of some things keeps me sane. I do not think I could stand to hear the stars exploding.

Not in attendance were the animal sounds. “I think that the season of screaming birds is over,” I say to you, from my half of the bed. We are both bathed in light, much more light than I am used to. Your old bedroom, downstairs, got little light. And in the forest the light was blocked by leaves and wood. Now you have moved into an attic bedroom with windows at both ends, and the light and winds blow through, woo-woo, in one end and out the other, and shine off the hardwood floors and colorful walls. There is room for yoga and dancing and a dozen reading chairs. The view is of peaked rooftops and the tops of trees. And in the distance, a rainbow windsock. And the thick grey sky.

The rain has stopped, and there is so much to do. It is September, and there are so many things. I can write again, and soon I start school. Today though I will unpack the car, and get on my bicycle, and go to the grocery story for carrots and chicken broth. I will do laundry and go to the bank. I will make my bed and put the books on my bookshelf. I will search out more Fitzgerald. I will sleep early, in the dim musty light of my shack, with its walls banked in moldering leaves and its light filtered through raspberry canes. And tomorrow! And the next day! And all of September! And I am in the city now!