At 5:53 this morning, I was chanting fittings and flushing over and over because the new toilet seems to be malfunctioning which I must investigate so it can be returned within the grace period if need be. And I need to call the plumbing fittings store because I’m in the market for a new pressure tank.
I do not allow myself to get out of bed until 6 a.m., so given my distractibility, if I wake early and think of things, I recite them until I’m up and can write them on a list.
This discourages God. The holy art of being chill eludes me even though, as God has pointed out for decades, fretting at dawn does not necessarily enhance the chances of a good day.
But today, the chanting paid off. By 9 o’clock I had called the fittings store; the size of pressure tank we need will have to be ordered, not just picked up. And I’d flushed enough to realize the flapper chain was too short. An easy fix.
Next, there’s the broken screen door handle. And powdery mildew is taking over the garden, and right at this moment, a wasp is buzzing around in the living room. Even though we usually have five or six swatters available, I can’t find a single one.
But I do find God, standing motionless in Mountain Pose on the porch.
“Hello, God,” I say. “What’re you doing out here?”
“Considering autumn. Funerals. Firewood. Frost. Harvest.”
“Want me to memorize a list for you?” I ask facetiously.
God picks up one of the onions drying in the sun. She peels away dirt-encrusted layers until she reaches the moist, succulent flesh and releases the pungent signature of onion. “This will take care of it.”
Only God can do this with an onion. She had summer mark this tragic year with three gargantuan pumpkins, renegade tomato plants, and cauliflower heads, white as snow, which we’d forgotten were there.
Spring is one of my worst distractions. We always overplant, but this will change.
Nothing stays the same. Nothing lasts. To know this is a burden and a blessing.
Between impermanence and consciousness are caves and canyons worn by water, made beautiful by clay, resisting, yielding, and resisting again.
And letting go again.
That tasty cauliflower grew to fruition unnoticed, but the gigantic, neon pumpkins are entirely obvious, frantically ripening a raucous orange on frost-damaged vines. God and I are cheering them on–God perched comfortably on the pinnacle of forever; me, less centered, patting the pumpkin’s belly, dreading the coming winter, but imagining pie.