treading lightly.

I can eat for atleast a week, black beans cooked as slowly as I am able, with small cuts of pork belly and rice and cantaloupe-thick slices of avocado, because it is avocado-green, avocado-weather somewhere in the tropics, and boy am I ready.

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We’re treading lightly this spring and so far this light is deeply therapeutic. It’s almost as if each of your pores is opening individually like a little tulip to say, “Hello, at last, I’ve missed you.”

And, boy, have you. Deeply.

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Women around my age, already settling like field pollen shaken about by the weeping willows seem to keep appearing around me with their myriad questions.

There was that time with melted chocolate bar-hot chocolate in your cup, when the ice was still raw, that you encountered the friend-pair of the engaged and the disengaged but deeply seeking to engage stability. The former was fretting and fearful about moving to San Francisco without her seriously good guy. She had auditions waiting out there for her.

On the second occasion, the first spring trench day of the year, there was the dancer who just moved in with her boyfriend, where it’s all leading she doesn’t know, but the living room is enveloped in grey, and the bedroom is taupe. And it was so nice/cool/funky that they had some input on the colors wasn’t it? Ikea. The other, Ila, “Mom,” is drinking her latte sprinkled with cinnamon from a long black straw because it feels safer with “Baby.” Baby is ten weeks old, strapped to her chest. Wasn’t it serendipitous that these two old friends had run into each other in the street? And isn’t Gavin a sweetie? And had it been too much when Ila’s mother had visited when Baby was first born? Maybe a little.

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These four women, spanning 26 or 27 and 32, luck would have me guess, are circling different points in their lives, but they’re all coming into a shared sense of groundedness, that they never really had early on into their twenties, because nobody really does (I think). I am imagining they are both happy and anxious in this new head-space. But it’s intoxicating to feel certain one is in fact, moving. They are steadying, anchoring, hitching themselves onto somethings and someones that make sense to them. And these friend pairs agree, in pollen-like whispers that they are so excited to ripen from light, bright avocado into something deeper together with these men of their choosing in a grey-taupe life space.

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Yes. They nod into sips of their congruent coffee cups, as sure as someone this young ever can be, with only so many winters behind her. And in listening into their hopeful chatter, I’m not sure if it’s the stability of the black beans all week long that is what satisfies me most, or if it’s just that I appreciate not having to cook when I don’t want to do it.

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