Sunday, November 8, 2015
Live As If Each Day Were Your Last
My son Tim with hens a few years ago.
THE OMENS ARRIVE XX. July 26, 2015
People do count on me. Remember that.
If I stand tall, they will, too. If I
raise the flag of hope, so will they.
This next score of years won’t be easy.
I’ll need all my wits and courage,
stamina, energy, and common sense.
I’ll nurture them daily by writing letters
to myself the way I’ve cared for the
chicks: food and water, checking
every few hours; rejoicing when they
spread new-feathered wings, fly to
the high roosting bar. When I come
to tend them, they buzz around, cheep
louder. They know fresh feed is in
the works. They attack my hand when
I reach in for their feeders, squeal
when I catch them. Am I mother yet?
Their eyes regard me as if I were. So
I have, after years of apprenticeship
become all the mothers: of animals,
plants, spirit, and earth. I may forget
names but my Muse is livelier, bolder
than it was seventy years ago when I
began writing stories. The weeds
test my patience, but I do know how
to dig them out, cut them down, save
my flowers, fruit, okra, beans, herbs,
and tomatoes. Live as if each day
were your last. Fill them to the brim,
then rest. Sleep like the dead–a practice
run. Work as if the years had not
accumulated. You are healthier than
you’ve ever been. Others rely on you
to show the way to our common goal
of being the best people we can be and
not resting on our laurels. Here on
earth we have to work, but this labor
places us in the Human Hall of Fame.
Judy's figs for sale at Chatham Marketplace in Pittsboro, in July 2012. Harsh winters have been hard on my fig trees, so I haven't had figs to sell in 2014 or 2015. Trees still live. Hope does, too.