unsanctioned scanner activity.
I am home in my studio this morning for the first time in what feels like a very long time. I have my required coffee, a stick of incense burning, and warm light is streaming in through the large windows that overlook the snowy woods. Winter has been long and longer, cold days stretching into colder days, ice, snow... more ice, more snow... below zero temperatures in March make Spring seem like an abstract concept. But this week, a small group of robins hopping in a snow bank and two squirrels chasing each other through the wood pile make spring seem, at least, possible.
As I was making my coffee this morning while trying to make the wood stove burn hotter (we ran out of fuel oil this morning, I think I was in denial that we'd need another 100 gallons), I received an email that said, simply:
Love you, Mary! That is all.
It's been nearly three years since I've heard from this friend, with occasional spans of years between emails before that. Our correspondence from the last 5+ years was included. I remember him in high school, a writer, funny, a good friend. We wrote poetry in the after-school writers club "Blue Coffee" and we drank coffee with our friends, playing cards and talking late into the nights. I married one of those friends from that group and life moved forward in different ways for each of us.
I still have the letter he wrote me when I left for college; I remember re-reading it when times felt confusing or lonely. Reaching out through time and space, change and distance. Contact was different in the 90's; no Facebook to keep us superficially connected, you had to work for it. Our last exchange came from me, in June of 2011. I wrote then about the string of family losses that had spanned the years preceding - my mother, grandmother and aunts - and wrote about starting grad school, my excitement about that, and the stable life in Vermont we had built. The "we" of then, of course, is different than the "we" of now, and it was strange to see this letter that I had written hours before my life spun around permanently and changed direction. Life, of course, moved forward after that too - filled with new experiences, sensations, goals and perspectives.
There is no tidy end to this reflection. I close my eyes, appreciating the quiet and I take a deep breath. I feel the hot sun on the arms as I type, and I smile.