twofold

A dear friend of mine had twin baby boys a few months ago. I knew how important it was to preserve the memories of those first few months for her. Those precious slow days that are the heaviest, most intense days anyone could experience. But they’re also the most fleeting, and tender. These little brothers are now smiling and growing what seems every time I see them, which is just about every day.

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unpresuming

I’ve often wondered if posting these as late as now, and at a time that doesn’t seem to make logical sense for me is the best move, often wondering if I should wait until there is some correlation so the transition and acceptance is ideal. But I have decided not to be bogged down with technicalities of presumption or holding myself to any time frame of context. Typically, life doesn’t wait for the right conditions, the perfect timing or relation, and yet that’s one of my favorite nuances I love most about it. How the least correlated of timings, people, circumstances can create some of the most beautiful moments.

So, enjoy these images of last autumn, picking northern spies, honey crisp, gala and macintosh; getting lost in heady fruit laden branches; searching for the loveliest sheen orbs, as well as the most unusual. We went home with pie and sauce apples for days and a rump shaped apple for a new Kindergarten teacher.

breakdown

The oil light blinked on, and the car engine made an awful noise of metal pieces working their hardest to move. I asked my husband if he thought we should pull off at the next stop. I knew it would put a dent in our timing, we were to be in South Dakota by that evening to spend the Fourth of July at the very patriotic Mount Rushmore. We pulled off, despite having checked and rechecked the car before this thousand mile journey, even buying new tires for it, and drove to a local mechanic who was busy looking at semis and Ford trucks. He said he wouldn’t be able to get to the car for at least a few more hours, and then if he could fix it, we would have to wait until after the holiday weekend. We decided to push on, despite the risk.

Another hour closer to the west, the engine stalled. We coasted to the side of the road, and settled there for three hours with our two children and a dog in the summer sun. As our adult minds were heavy with the stress and gravity of the situation, exponentially increasing costs, and worries of what to do next, our girls spent their time picking wildflowers and finding treasures. So we took a hint from those wise old souls and stepped back. Looking at the bigger picture, we saw what really mattered and found a few treasures along our new journey. Isn’t that just the way.

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
― W.B. Yeats

endless summer

In these last few calendar days of summer, I have been clinging. More to our summer memories rather than actual time. Though as I put it in writing they seem one and the same. We began the summer days knowing they were Jane’s last days at home, her last days all to us, filled with our rhythm and influence and warmth. It seemed like we were losing her when the winds came, and that she would never be the same. Over three weeks time she has changed. Though others may argue it’s still too early to really tell, to a detail oriented mother who knows her emotional and heart subtleties, I can see the separation, her solitary mind filling with things I can’t know. This is most noticeable as she transitions home in the afternoons.
Her new day’s rhythm might be away from the slow, familiar rhythm that was full and vibrant with home, but she still looks to us in the end.  Still seeks approval and love, sharing those stories of people and experiences I didn’t share, at least in person. Still sneaking close for cuddles at night, and still knowing where home is. Maybe that solitude she feels during the day has helped her to clarify what home means to her. It certainly has helped me create the sort of home I want her to know.
It already feels like mid autumn here in Michigan, the transition lasting a mere day or two. The loss was an immediate shock, though the memory is still fresh enough I can almost feel the warm sticky midwest summer air and hear the cicadas in the trees before I walk through our back door into a cool crisp early autumn shade. Memories of the heat and sun make me love summer all the more. Truly, we don’t know what we have, nor can we experience its greatest beauty and importance until it is gone. The passing of things; moments, ideas, people, reveal their matchless value. Gratefully, summer will be back. And I will pray, with all intention, that our home will always be.

A Summer Rain

“Drip drip the trees for all the country round,
And richness rare distills from every bough;

The wind alone it is makes every sound,
Shaking down crystals on the leaves below.

For shame the sun will never show himself,
Who could not with his beams e’er melt me so;

My dripping locks—they would become an elf,
Who in a beaded coat does gayly go.”

The Summer Rain, Henry David Thoreau

resolutions

We brought a bouquet home with us from our venture to the mountains what seems ages ago, and amidst the chaos of packing decided to press some to take along with us. A small remembrance of our Utah life where we first started our little family. The sentimental in me can’t help but connect the symbolism of our life there, now preserved as a memory. It is faded and not quite as vibrant as in the moment we were living it which was so full and rich of motion, energy and life. But small mementos, pictures, videos, and written accounts are a reminder of that fullness. Sometimes so vivd I can almost smell the summer mountain air again.

I recently read Hannah Coulter, a beautifully written novel that articulates this poetically.

“You think you will never forget.

You think you will never forget any of this, you will remember it always just the way it was. But you can’t remember it the way it was. To know it, you have to be living in the presence of it right as it is happening. It can only return as a surprise. Speaking of these things tells you that there are no words for them that are equal to them or that can restore them to your mind.

And so you have a life that you are living only now, now and now and now, gone before you can speak of it, and you must be thankful for living day by day, moment by moment, in this presence.” [.]

Intentional, attentive living. It is my lifelong ambition, to live with presence.