The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts. Ray Bradbury
I’m just going to say it: I want it all!
Back at home this morning after a week in Moscow, Idaho where I had been visiting my son and daughter-in-law and toddler grandson, back at home as I allowed myself to be roused from sleep, the words were already there for me, clear and fully formed. I want it all! I want this glorious bed and the pillow that I’ve nestled into for years and the silk-screen painting of Lake Superior lit up by the moon that hangs on the sea-foam-colored wall across from the bed. I want my bedmate, my soul mate, the guy I’ve known for almost forty years. I want to cheer him on as I receive a text from South Dakota where he is now bow-hunting. “Living my dream!” he says. I want for him to live his dream and I want to live mine, too.
I want to feast on the time that I spend with that adorable grandson. I want to take it in, to own it, that I really do think it is high-flying fun to sit on the floor and watch Thomas the Train on Net Flix, toddler grandson plopped on my lap, to cuddle close, to squeeze tight, to practically gobble him up as I say, “I love you! I love you! I love you!” I want it all. I want to gobble it up, to gorge on it, this life that I’m living. And I want to say, “I love you! I love you! I love you!” to everything, the way that adorable grandson and I say it to his cars and his trucks and his menagerie of stuffed monkeys and puppies and squirrels. I want to say it with the uninhibited innocence of a sixteen-month-old. I love you friends and sons and daughter-in-laws. I love you husband. I love you strangers who smile at me and strangers who frown. I love you snow that is gently falling right now and the sun that is up there somewhere brightening the sky. I love you earth and I love you sky. I want to say it with unbridled care-free toddler-like enthusiasm. I love you!
I want it all. I want to stuff it into my tiny book, the one that I made at Joy Center’s Book Art Club in September, the one I call “My Autumn Book.” I want to squeeze this unwieldy life I’m living into the pages of this handcrafted journal. I want to contain it. I want to let it flow, too. I want to say, “Flow through me Life! Flow through my veins, ignite my flames, brighten my skin, brighten my days.” I want for my cells to sing with the life I’m living. I want it all, the hike to a waterfall in the autumn-colored Smokies on a mild afternoon with one son and, two weeks later, the hike up Idaho’s Moscow Mountain in pine-scented mist with the other son. I want more and more of these heart-pumping hikes and I want to skate-ski, too. I want for the snow to fly and I want to fly in this flying snow. And I want to sing. I want to sing the way my father used to sing, loud and full of gusto, no holding back. I want to sing like that, and live like that, no holding back.
And what else do I want? I want the comforts of home, my home, our home, the fireplace in the living room, the art on the walls, the embrace of a partner and the routines that I love. I want the walks, the talks, the Friday evenings at Sweetwater Cafe. I want to eat scrumptious foods, foods that are fresh and real, foods that titillate my senses and bring my body pleasure. I want to feel pleasure. I want the deep sustaining pleasure of strong roots and a stable foundation and I want the wild too. I want the Lake, the grandest of all lakes. I want it in all its moods. I want its thrashing waves. Its crashing waves. I want to be stirred inside. I want the ocean too. How could I not want the ocean? I want the sea-smell in Maine, the fog that curls my hair, the salt that holds me up. I want the Lake and the ocean and I want the mountains, the worn round mountains of the east coast and the jagged Rockies in the west. I want the Alps, too, and the Himalayas and the Pyrenees. I want the comfort of the old, the thrill of the new. I want the reliable aging Subaru and the brand-new rental. I want to travel. I want to honor my traveling feet. I want to wrap my arms, my long gangly eager arms around this whole thriving thrumming planet, to squeeze it close, to press my heart into its heart, and with the sincerity that I’ve learned from hanging around a toddler, to whisper and to shout, to sing and to scream, “I love you! I love you! I love you!”