A crowded sky

I breathe salty air and try to calm the pressure that sits on my chest

Swollen heart hangs like ripe fruit trapped behind a rib cage I would gladly prise open just to set it free

Let it swirl high on the updraft like a sea eagle – I hear how they cry – that high keening sigh

Wild things know how to tell the world how they are feeling

My soul could return when it is settled once more


Instead I must set one foot after another

Holding love and melancholy in the same space

Full and sad and happy

Full and sad and happy

I try to remain detached and name each as it arises, unfortunately I cannot remain aloof

I am not the stoic type

Emotions flicker like lightening

One foot after another

Cracks in the pavement

Houses for sale

A neatly trimmed hedge

A distant sail

On a windy day. I wonder aloud how that captain is fairing

We both mutter useless words of trailed off of trailed off conversation

And then give up, we’re both feeling a bit off it

A cup of bitter black tea soothes my overly sweetened soul

I sigh

Sun and clouds exist in the same sky

So can I, so can I

*A beautiful loving day. All together, with laughing and hugs so easy to gather when everyone is just here. All here together.

But then it’s over, they drive away, we walk to breakfast. Our roles shifted, tectonic plates lifted, parents, family for 48 hours – now we are simply a couple of older people again. Our sons travel home, we stay on. Shoulders bumping as we walk. Dry palms tangling like birds seeking solace, one in the other. Breathing through tight chests.

My Mother always cried as a family we left. I recall the tearing feeling well. Review mirror scenes. Empty arms waving goodbye. I’m glad I don’t do that. We walk to breakfast, my husband and I. Half hearted plans tossed about. Perhaps just the paper, a quiet Sunday together, heads obviously elsewhere. The downward run, feels downward. We’ll await that all important text “home”. And breathe properly again later.

It’s not that you want it to last forever. Or go backward. There are no futile wishes or regrets. Just that old inevitable happy sadness that exists when family comes together and then separates. Natural fluctuations of loving hearts and lifetimes that weave and knit both together and apart.

9 thoughts on “A crowded sky

  1. Starting to dread the inevitableness of this as my daughter hits the halfway point of college. Off topic, but is the word ‘prise’ in use in your country? It isn’t in the US. I bought a new espresso maker from Italy and the instructions used the word prise. I had to look it up. In fact my spell check is telling me it isn’t a word. Love stuff like this.

  2. Beautiful description and words, Kate. Sun and clouds exist together. “Home”. When my oldest son walked out of my house over 9 years ago when he joined the Air Force I thought life was shutting a door on me. 3 years later, his brother joined. 9 years, 6 years,….SO FAR away. I had to recreate my life. I felt abandoned which is totally immature and not true at all! But it’s how I FELT. It took years to navigate the new “normal”. Goodbyes are different now. Especially now. My chest fills heavy at times. It’s so full. I’m so happy for the time you all had together! 💜💕❤️

    • I have to remind myself to be grateful not regretful. It helps but I’m never settled until they reach home again safely. Oh you would feel abandoned, proud – so proud but how wrenching. I at least get to see my two, for now at least, in snatches of time throughout the week. Thanks for reading, I always look forward to hearing from you X

      • I’m so glad to read your work. I don’t understand “Reader” on my phone. Or why I can’t “see” you when I start scrolling. It’s timing. So when I finally get there I can straight to your site. Yes, I’m so proud of them. I failed to mention the best news~My youngest is moving 3 hours away in TWO weeks. It’s a huge love for his wife, but she’s excited. My oldest, in Alaska, will be moved to Texas in the Fall. Only 7 1/2 hour drive! I’m so thankful to the Red Cross and Air Force for getting them closer to me! Xo 😘

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