Orange-Red (brown)

The trees are split open, their orange-reds insides are startlingly beautiful this time of year. This time of year, the dank wet dampness covers everything, even though everything grows. Everything grows because it rains more days than we’d like to think about. These days, I think about summer ahead. How when summer arrives, that means it’s one less summer where my oldest is young enough to be nest-bound. Even though she’s less nest-bound day-by-day-by-day.

We are always nest-bound in our minds. Our minds which circle back, returning home even when our homes no longer stand. When they do stand, the bathroom sink is lower and there are age spots on our faces when we look in those smaller mirrors. The age spots are a map that ties us to our mothers, who weirdly have similar spots in similar places. The mole I had removed by my eye: she has that same mole. While my eldest daughter has a growth in a spot nearby, one she could have removed. Maybe someday she will make her own appointment with her own dermatologist and ask about that growth that she didn’t want touched when she was 16.

That’s how the mind works, which makes me long for the moments I spent looking at the split-open trees today. They took me away from my circling brain, and away from dank wet damp winter. Into the heart of the tree I went.

Even when a tree is rotted, or too wet to stand up anymore, cracked open by the wind or toppled by a combination of the wind and the wet soil. Even then its insides are orange-red: a homage to all that went before. A beautiful homage.

This is how I like to think of the age spots on my face, the ones that tie me to my mother and to the sun. The sun that shone down on my beautiful face as I made my way through my childhood. Day by day by day. An orange-red time that lives like a path that I circle through in my mind. An orange-red circuit like the circuit of age spots that live on my face. Age pathways: brown spots on a face, orange-red insides of the trees that cracked open during last night’s windstorm.

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