Hello UEA community…
Lots has happened since we last posted in the spring. I, for one, got to meet my son. He’s been captivating. If I were to write anything, it would have been about him, and frankly I didn’t want to leave his company to write about him.
But, since he is so captivating, I will write something about him: he’s coy, inquisitive and cautious. He thinks I’m safe and that his father is exciting. And he’s doing just fine in the city without a yard.
It’s contradictory to the bursts of sunshine that shot through our glass balcony railing and into the apartment this morning. The neutral tan carpet was blazing with early Spring light – yellow, not gold, and almost greenish as though tinted by the new leaves it helped create. Spring light always looks like it has something to prove. It shows up on the scene with relieving warmth and brightness, ready to prove itself and outshine the dull Winter sunlight (though even a dirty mirror could do better than December in the sunlight category). But we, the receivers of Spring, could care less what it has to prove – it’s brought warmth and brightness; that’s all we’ve wanted.
I woke up to this shiny world, cracked the slider door, and sat down in the slowly receding patch of sunlight on the carpet to read and enjoy the peace and light. Through the crack of the door, I heard what sometimes sounds like ocean breakers, but today sounded a lot more industrial: a mixture of traffic, rumbling trucks, steel plates, and… birds. Usually, it soothes. Today, it screeched me back to the truth, reminding me of the machine the city is: the bright park-like morning was wrapped in a drop-cloth of moving gears and wheels. And while I didn’t exactly mind it, I tried to ignore it and imagine it away, attempting to take myself back to the peace of the sunlight. But I couldn’t. As I listened for the quiet underneath the rattles and wheels, all I heard was a metallic, shifting hum.
The windows on every building reverberated with the sound of steel plates being run over by rattling, unsteady 16-wheelers. Bricks echoed with impatient taxicab horns. The very glass of my balcony railing magnified the sound of airplanes shooting into the sky miles away. There was no quiet, if you really listened. The overly ambitious Spring sunshine had done its job – like a Frankenstein out of control, it had gone a step too far and woken the city as well. The many geared machine sprung into action, daring anyone to find its off-switch and, much less, flip it. The trucks came and went, sirens diminished as they rolled down the road, but the hum was always there.
If you’re not listening, the hum is soothing, almost non-existent… easily imagined into something else. But if you truly listen: pause and strip away any daydreams… you suddenly hear the threatening nature of its turnings: it can’t stop. It doesn’t. And it won’t. It’s a machine. And you’re merely a working part.
The traffic outside of Kari and Casey’s windows may sound like the ocean, but the traffic outside my windows sounds like an earthquake. I live underneath a helicopter flight path, so I hear everything from weather choppers to military hawks flying over my house all day, every day. They’re loud enough to halt conversation – in person or on the phone. They shake my house and drown out the sounds of my baby crying in her crib.
Except today. We have been under tornado watches and warnings for about 24 hours, and nary a copter has emerged. I suppose they stowed their big birds until the twisters went packing, hid in their basements with the rest of the southeast United States, and waited it out.
Growing up, I remember staying at my Grandparents’ house, which was close enough to the Orlando International Airport that I heard planes overhead every night. The sound became sooting to me, etched in my memory like a lullaby. It was the most industrial noise of my childhood, and it was booming and smooth and warm.
This is my grown-up lullaby. I just heard the familiar chop chop chop and I knew that the weather was clear, the world was safe, and I am home.
Has it really been nearly 5 months since we posted? It appears so.
Don’t judge us. As Casey reported back in the fall, Laura still has her gorgeous little girl. I’m burgeoning with my little something, due in May. And Casey really did trade in the gold fish for another little something, due in August.
Life’s changing. We think we’ve got our heads (and stomachs) straightened out, and we hope to be back to writing soon.
But, if we’re not, we know you’ll miss us.
Little girl with a floppy garden hat, smiling through her eyes.
She glances at me through the pews and shyly tucks her head and looks away.
Voices echo. Melodies and harmonies mix.
Arms raised, hands reaching,
Faces turned upward, eyes closed, and peace is abundant.
Joy is present.
orrr… just for the past few weeks.
here’s the thing. one of us has a very cute baby (that’d be Laura). one of us just found out they will be having a cute baby in the spring and is currently in the throws of… throwing… uhh… being sick (that’d be Kari). and one of us is pondering getting a third goldfish because her other two died (thaaat’d be me).
as you can see, we’ve had some things commanding our attention recently, so this blog has been falling a bit by the wayside. however, it will not die. not until we say so.
in addition, all or most of us three are preparing to take part in National Novel Writing Month, which begins in November. so there may be a continued hiatus on this blog for a bit longer. but don’t give up on us.
as you wait for more Urban Ever After, take a walk in the crunchy leaves, twirl in a field of cornstalks, make a jack o’lantern… enjoy Fall! we’ll be back before you know it. we think.
from the balcony on this beachy-city morning.