Saturday, May 3, 2014

Groaning and Growing

Like the vineyards, this last week has been so overflowing with activity that i forgot to write my blog yesterday.
I'm back at cardio rehab three days a week and my muscles feel it. Our two day mini heat wave got me to sleeping in the study where there is already an overhead fan (waiting to have one installed soon in my bedroom). My new garden is beginning to explode with color and the watering bill is rising precariously as the new plantings need water their first year even though they are all on drip.

Just south about five minutes in Kenwood, the strawberry stand with the best strawberries next to Washington state, is now open. From the tiny parking lot one can see an uncut  field of mustard
the sheep or mowing machines have not touched, with the vineyards behind.
Today I'm driving to Napa to have lunch with my old college roommate Dolores. Catherine and I made this drive last Saturday for a mutual friend's 90th, and I imagine the grape vines will have grown a foot in the six days since I've seen them. Their rate of growth confounds me, but then so does the rate of the permed growth on my thinning silver locks.
The botched Oklahoma execution has me fuming and of course the news channels are consumed with the actions of the NBA. There were so many things I could have written about for our creative writing group but instead I choose to write about secrets. There is some humor as well as some seriousness in the piece.

“I have a secret to be told..” goes the refrain of an old love song about blue Canadian skies.. The secret was a gallant mountie lost his way but found a heart of gold. I loved to hear my big sister sing as she played  it 
on our Baby Grand Steinway, a treasure we were to loose in the depression, though that too was a secret. 

As a child, I found the keeping of secrets such a burden that it consumed my dreams, and sometimes my waking hours as well: my own secrets, my sister’s secrets, my girlfriends’ secrets, and especially my mother’s secrets, not to mention family secrets. Sometimes I wondered if my devoted pit bull, Mike, had secrets. Not that I didn’t have plenty of my own.  I even had a secret hiding place in a vacant lot under the bracken ferns where I dreamed secret dreams. And a secret monster with eight elastic hairy arms lived under my big double bed, so that I would have to sleep rigid right in the middle or else be grabbed and devoured. 

I often had secret stomach aches.. and once I had secret Athlete’s foot.  But the worst was the secret of keeping so many secrets. 

Some of my secrets are so haunting and personal they will die with me, which is my wish. Others have been shared and transformed so many times they are gems of humor to be shared on long drives or around campfires. . 

When I was eleven and a summer camper at Camp Sealth on Vashon Island we would build fires with driftwood, listen to the waves,  and try to out-tell one another. 
I remember one girl confiding that she knew the worst word in the English language. She described this word as so vulgar, so intimate, so serious that of course we had to coax her into telling. I think it took three starry nights before we broke down her reserve. The silence was intense, as her lips softly formed the response. The word was “breast”. We sat in stunned silence, not knowing why it was so bad, and speechless to add a comment. 

Funny that I chose a profession in later life in which confidentiality was not only prescribed but the law. As a psychotherapist I spent my working hours hearing secrets which would  never be told, because of course they are secrets. 

I'll try to get more pictures on my drive today. So funny to live here in the wine country and be a tea-tottler. Yet they seem to accept me. Here's to you!

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