Saturday, June 11, 2005

the confused owl

The confused owl and I have become friends. She wakes me at 6:30 in the morning to tell me her night has begun and I sit with her and have my coffee. When I was leaving my husband, when I had two small girls at my hip I found an owl outside in the lilac bush in the middle of the day chased there by crows. I stood guard for two hours with a stick and every time the crows would swarm down I’d take a swing until the owl flew to the next tree and we continued like this: crow, owl, woman and stick until we lost each other.

Next week will be my eleventh wedding anniversary. I remember my parents’ eleventh anniversary, leaving us behind to drive to Montreal. I remember realizing for the first time, my parents were people, individual people who had existed somewhere alone before they met. Oh the frightening information of childhood.

Somewhere in my closet I have all the letters from the divorce, the ones people wrote telling me not leave. The ones with images of my children becoming serial killers, drug addicts, my brother’s letter claiming that urban living had corrupted my soul and one from a girl in high school who met an aunt at the A&P and was told promptly that I had lost my mind, nervous breakdown and my aunt claimed it was because I had left a man who was suppose to take care of me.

Yes they are all in my closet, even some I have not read and I wonder if it is time now, to burn them all because even though I was wrong about some things, leaving my husband did not make me instantly happy or loved. I was right about some things to—the girls and I are alive. Strong. We sleep in tents, read books about snakes. We go outside in the rain and my daughters trust me to take care of them. In every part of their being they know they are loved by me and even on bad days, they know their mother will keep them safe, she knows how to handle a stick.

3 comments:

Emily Lloyd said...
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loveandsalt said...

Definitely burn those letters with their terrible prophecies. They are polluting the very air of your happy and hardwon home.

louhanna said...

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