• Shana Ritter

A balance of days

We are at the precipice of changing seasons, where both what was and what will come are clear. A balance of days in the wider expanse of a year.

The rain is that soft gray mist of very early Spring, the evenings have filled with the sound of peepers and wood frogs, the crocuses are up and the daffodils just beginning to open. The trees are still totally bare so I can see the outlines of my neighbor’s homes across the ravine, within a month there will be nothing by green. The silhouettes and elegant lines will be submerged in leaf and flower and vine. The winter hush that is clearly pierced by the cry of a hawk or the hammering of a woodpecker will become a cacophony of bird and bug and frog. It gets raucous out here in the country.

At the end of January in the only real deep cold of this winter I started into the first full revision of my novel, sent out poems, began new projects for my job with energy and anticipation. Then I had a simple thing become complicated and I spent much of the last month looking down, keeping my sight within a circumscribed distance, trying to focus, literally and figuratively, as my eye healed and my vision compensated for shifts and shadows and curvatures.

Suddenly March came and I felt I had done so little. Every “no” – whether in fundraising or writing submissions – was bringing me low. And there were a lot of nos. It seemed to be going on forever.

But time is such a malleable entity; what felt like forever was actually thirty days. In a few days I’ll go away with family to a warm island. I hope time goes very slowly there. I plan to count the waves and build structures on the sand that will wash out with the next tide. I plan to say yes a lot. When we come back we’ll come back to a new season.

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