Hold Out Your Hand

Spring runs in and out like a child opening and slamming a door just to irritate us.
– Joyce Sequichie Hifler

It is flower stealing season once again and I’m so excited about the Spring. Forsythia on my table, right here before my eyes. The sunny yellow stars of its bloom could have been drawn by children. Yes, this is what heaven looks like, how did they know? I’m happy to have that feeling this year. When I was a teenager I called it nervous fits of anticipation, what had me tingling with a barely suppressed sense of…something. Somethin’s gonna’ happen. It still feels the same.

But the very big plan, oh that master plan of driving to Texas in the Spring, has now been moved forward to the Fall. I had begun noticing a stirring of wistfulness about leaving the Shed without experiencing what I know will be a magical time in the other seasons; the Shed nestled under burgeoning greenery already teeming with birdsong, my windows open to the long summer nights. The carefree living of hot and sunny days. Sitting outside on the stoop through the day’s heat and the dark’s calm, nodding my head yes, yes, to this life of mine.

My vehicle has not yet materialized and my Texas money is more funny than fund. I wondered about all this, the timing, but I trust the process and know that I will go when I’m supposed to go. So it is with curiosity and acceptance, not frustration, that I will wait a little longer. And the inferno of a Texas summer is no place for me.

…amaranthine pink blossomed branches from the trees along the river bank…

Years ago I sat on my piano bench and watched the dancers learn to pirouette across the room. And some would dizzily careen in circles until they crashed into the barre or spun wildly out of control. The trick being to keep your head steady and your eyes focussed always on that point on the far wall you wished to go. We practice the grande pirouette through our days when not only us but the world seems to be spinning, and it’s all about balance and whatever we need to do to keep ourselves upright. Things happen.

A Friday night last September I got a call, my friend Cathy said, “If you come down to the post office corner right now, you could probably get hired. I’ll introduce you to the locations manager.” Down I went, hired I was and spent the next two months happily working here in the village as a production assistant. Money was made, my plan leapt forward in an unexpected way.

Then December brought the journey back east to my mother’s side, to say hello, and goodbye. I found, on my return, that I needed to sit and be quiet. The Shed weathered the storms of winter and so did I. I sat at my table with scissors, a glue stick, and a pile of National Geographics fashioning fantastical collage cards – Tibetan asses trekking single file across a Catskills sunset, a swirl of giraffe legs round shimmering burgundy coral is a flower. For calming a twirling mind, the hands kept the focus.

I didn’t work, I sat. People had been behaving badly, I sat. It rained, it snowed, it howled. I sat. The Christmas season brought its joys and extremes and I kept cutting and gluing. I moved out of the Shed only once, at -18 C. with the wind chill factor. Looking around this peaceful solace filled with music and candlelight (bundled in layers for warmth, even wearing a hat), generated gladness. I would not have traded my paradise for anyone’s.

But I have another home away from home just up the street. When my friend Suzanne goes off adventuring, or to teach her art, her Loft is my sanctuary. It was mine the whole month of January. So I hauled my PC up the stairs and finally circumvented the internet woes I’ve been experiencing for so long. Sat in the alcove staring up through a high window looking skyward. There is that hawk again, reminding me to watch for messages, to look at the overview rather than the mouse view.

The Spring is here and friends are leaving. One turned in his sleep and left as quietly and heroically as he’d faced his disease, without complaint. The other was taken cruelly and without a chance by another’s murderous intent. There are times when out loud is barely a whisper to one’s self, the sound of my pencil moving across the page. When we have trouble executing our turn across the dance floor, we must sit that one out.

…the translucency of a glistening bluebell…

The Loft has the bathtub I miss here, the height, the skylights, and Pete the cat returning home through the window from his night prowls. From kitchen to bath, from table to bed; how I love the drift of open space living. The Loft’s kitchen allows me to say thank you with muffins: Thank you for fish, for dinners, for surprise treats, for tea. For coming to see me, for leaving me be. For all the kindnesses that fill my day. For reading my words, for hearing my silence. For reminding me that you remember me, and that I love you. For the joy of sudden and unexpected goodness.

Surrounded by ingredients and all the people on my mind, I stand at the counter. The muffin recipes say don’t overmix or they won’t rise. Just fold it over…enough. Reminds me of loneliness, don’t put it in the mix. Don’t fold it over and over into your day. It makes you tough, keeps you low. I stand here in a crowd of lovers. I can hear Holden say, “It’s a goddamn crowd, it’s so goddamn beautiful.” What a crowd, I’m tripping over you! Thank you. Thank you! You’re everywhere. You’re everyone. Lovers everywhere. It’s a largesse, it’s a lord…it’s a lord of lovers.


…the beautiful coin of now slaps down in your hand – Rumi

Good Life

5 Responses to “Hold Out Your Hand”

  1. Abby Palmer says:


    Thank you for the inspiration you fire up in me with your words. I have just finished reading “No Walls” with tears dripping off my chin.

    You show me what being a good writer is all about: vulnerability and voice. Your words touch me way out here where I sit in my cold 2,400 square foot rented home in North Vancouver, my heart aching for SHED, and…

    And my heart aching.

    I’m very happy I got a chance to see your shining face that day on the wet road. In the brief moment we shared, you beamed about your SHED. Thanks for the hug. You were just the person I needed to see that day.

  2. suzanne says:

    Beloved friend, you write as though you are not writing. It’s a different thing, so thoroughly you that there seems to be no self-consciousness. I love it, it moves me, it renews my faith in that way of being – revealing what is so, undefended, surprised, in love with the whole damn ting.

  3. Dale says:

    The wet day outside forces me to unravel the paperwork piling up in my computer, less paperwork in the future they said when I was a believing school child….reality dawns….so very much more paper generated with every project and every year. So I take a moment and rest in your blog and know that you are unravelling your life and knitting a new one so I can do that too! And so I will one of these days soon! love to you.

  4. Cylia says:

    They say that spring is 4 weeks behind and those of us who live in the moment, live it now. My second read, your words are poetry and inspiration. love and hugs, cyl

  5. mary collins says:

    Hey Diane: you were lurking in my computer after all. Just circumvented my fear of pushing buttons to find you. And such delights waiting here. Beauty on…
    from a luddite with a sledge-hammer.

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