• Shana Ritter

Back Home…

During much of the past six weeks I have been away. A mixture of work, workshops, family visits and a trip to Ireland to hear Van Morrison planned as a surprise for me. All good (well Ireland was great) but I have kept away from the page and broken my usual writing practice. The words have piled up and I am wanting to indulge in their sounds and constructs. After this shifting of routine I am ready for practice again. Tomorrow I begin the revision on the novel, today it’s back to the blog.

In a dream I stand on the edge of the earth’s atmosphere, the world spinning slowly before me, a whirl of blues and greens and ochre. I close my eyes and jump and land here, in this place I’ve come to claim as home. At first I am surprised, I never dreamed of this. It was always cliffs and waves, tides, the ever sound of surf the thin covering of salt on my lips, the unmeasured distances.

But I find I’m as rooted as any maple on this no coast land, as firmly entwined as any cattail in the pond. The pond that’s fed by an underground stream, a lost creek, an unseen spring that reveals itself in a small cluster of trees and wetland. A haven for a few families of birds, frogs, turtles and who knows what else burrows in or hovers there. The pond opens out from there and while it can’t be much more than half an acre, (I’m terrible at understanding acres) it feels vast. This small opening of water in the midst of all this land. A place that reflects sky, that allows for things to enter it, to pierce its surface and lose themselves in the murky center. In all the years we’ve lived here we’ve never touched the deepest part.

I never meant to be closed in, so held to a place, especially to one inland. I was always sure I’d live by a coast where the expanse of water led to immeasurable depths somewhere beyond my line of sight. But I’ve learned that depth can be as much in sky as water. As much in steadfastness and stillness as anything else.

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