Thursday, January 6, 2011

vintage, also weekword:simplicity

When I was a kid, I collected things, such as wheat back pennies.  Somewhere along the way, I got it into my mind, either my mother mentioned it or someone else, that if a thing was 45 years old, it was officially an antique. I became obsessed with examining coin years. This habit still lingers, on the rare occasion I handle coins in the age of the debit card.

I'm definitely more than retro.  These days that seems to be applicable if something is even 10 years past due.  There are a couple of cans in my pantry that may qualify.

I think it is safe to say I am vintage.

I don't quite qualify as an antique, even if I am a bit lopsided and rickety these days. At least my drawers don't stick.

Should I make a list?  I won't make a 45 item list. Should I write a poem for my birthday?  Some time ago I used to write a poem as many lines as years on my birthday.  That habit stayed in the past, when the poems were shorter.

I guess my one thought on turning forty-five is that I am glad, if a bit surprised by the number. I am glad because the more I hang around, the better I feel in my own skin. I am no longer trying to be something other than what I am.  I am no longer an idea of myself. Or a hope of something else to be. I have been the yearning poet.  I have been the bohemian. I have been the mom, and still am, I have been the student, teacher, lover, writer, cynic, optimist, enthusiast and quiet.

Yes quiet.  When I am around others, I am a talker.  I really am, I don't know why I feel the need to fill silence in so many situations.  Because in other circumstances, I really do love the quiet.  If I hang around a situation long enough, I start to quiet down and listen better. Honestly, these days, I don't tend to stick around long enough.  When no one else is around, I really enjoy the quiet, especially these days, because rarely am I ever alone.  But here's a neat thing I've found:

If my family is hiking or at the beach or some other adventure together, after the hustle and bustle settles down, after the things and stuff and directions are taken care of -

When we get together and just are - not eating dinner, doing homework, laundry, trying to get to school, work, the day, the usuals,

when we step outside of that and stop - or walk,

We get quiet.  And listen  -

the waves on the shore.

the laughing gulls.

the scuttle of a squirrel through the brush in the woods around a lake.

the fall of a branch. 

the crow surprised, taking wing.

the red flash of a cardinal.

the changing light of the sky.

the wind's direction.

and there,

in that quiet

I find love

and everything I ever needed.

And that's why I am happy to be turning forty-five today.

York River, Coleman Bridge, my dog and kids, 10.2.2010

Addendum: Weekword is a weekly creative challenge that bops around the internet. On Friday go to Silver Linings 4 Me to see a wide variety of people's responds around the world.  Enjoy!


  1. Happy Birthday! I like the idea of being vintage. Vintage is soooo IN right now! You have an amazing outlook too. Love what you've discovered in the quiet.

  2. Happy Happy Birthday plus One Day Cath!!! Wishing you many hours of quietude and the things that make that simple life so special. Aren't we lucky to be moms and be able to have the best of both worlds - the chaos ('mayhem' to use your term), and the silence... - So Nice!

  3. thaks, maria, yes it is so nice to have both, life would be boring without the mayhem.

  4. Happy Birthday and I hope that you have a wonderfully creative time at your retreat! Isn't it interesting the different ways people posted about just one word...

  5. thank you, and yes it is remarkable, isn't it?

  6. Lovely...sigh :)
    Happy Birthday!

  7. Happy Birthday! Enjoy the quiet. ;-)

  8. thank you, peggy and domestic!

  9. Beautifully said as always (so enjoy your writing) and happy birthday my dear (the husband is turning 45 in a few days and is going through a little crisis about it, maybe i'll send him here :) I'm a perpetual talker in company, yet I too love the quiet when I can eek it out of my hectic life-it's a special little bliss. Hope you find some quiet this weekend after enjoying the hunky hunky hairstylist :)

  10. thank you, carmen! there is no crisis in 45....death's door is where it always was. lol!

    if i hang out for more than 30mins, i do tend to quiet down...

    he is cute.

  11. Happy Bday... Beautifully said! your list of quiet thoughts struck me - such "simplicity" in listening! oh the quiet of life!
    BTW - I love your new banner - did Toots go outside & try to sweep the snow off her swing?

  12. thak you, christine! even in quiet there is something to hear...

    thanks! captain comic brushed the swings off soon after that photo.

  13. Wonderful. Happy birthday!! Enjoy the simple joys that your 45th year brings.

  14. Happy birthday. I love your list.

  15. I feel the same way about turning 45, as well as old coins and the quiet of the outdoors. Hope your special day was peacefull!

  16. thank you bluerose! i enjoyed it...

  17. Super! Love the poem! :-D Cool thoughts.

  18. thank you, mary! i didn't even intend a poem there. :)


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