You can sink on solid ground

by Ashley Weeks Cart

Yesterday, my incredibly talented friends released their debut album.

I am proud of them beyond words.

I, of course, downloaded the EP the moment it became available and spent my evening listening to its melodies.

While I had heard each of the songs in various forms, I kept returning again and again to one particular track, “The Cat Bird Seat.”

I couldn’t understand why I so adamantly and desperately wanted to hear that song again and again.

Then I remembered.

The first time that Auyon and Dave played that tune for me was in the wake of Addison’s baby shower. The party had ended. James had flown home to Los Angeles. And there I sat, on my childhood porch, the firey, warm light of sunset on the harbor, cradling my seven-week old baby, while they played the strings of the violin and guitar.

They shared that particular song. A simple acoustic version accompanied by Dave’s voice. I danced across the porch, a new mother with her precious child, filled with so much joy I thought I might float off and over the ripples of the sea.

The peace and still of my family, seated in a circle on that porch, listening to that song, in our home.

I’ve been waiting for the grief to strike. For that moment when the flood of memory, and loss, and history, and good-bye would catch up to me and stop me in my tracks.

Tonight, the lightness I felt on that day was swapped with a weight that I cannot describe. A heaviness that has me frozen in front of this computer screen desperate for words to help share the burden.

I will never sit on that porch at sunset again.

I will never lie in my bedroom looking out at the ocean on a stormy day.

I will never run my hands down that dark wood banister.

I will never soak in that claw foot tub surrounded by bubbles and a good book.

I will never perch atop that hill on a summer’s day.

I will never nestle in front of that fire place with tea and festive company on a cold Christmas eve.

I will never feel those floors creek beneath my feet.

I could let this loss consume me.

But then I hear Addison giggling in the other room, and Hanna and Ursa tear into the bedroom and wrestle each other to the floor, and I am reminded of everything. Not of loss, but of substance. Of all the memories that have yet to be made. Of all the moments that have yet to be had. Of the people that defined that home that are here. And are the stuff of happiness. I am reminded that it is my family that make a home.

And now that song fills me with the weightlessness I need to move through the sadness.

Sunny understands that feeling of flying better than any with her new swing. We could all use a swing to help get us through right now.