Tag Archives: Reflection

Hi-dee-ho, here I go

It was missing a piece.
And it was not happy.
So it set off in search
of its missing piece.
And as it rolled
it sang this song—
“Oh I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece
I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece
Hi-dee-ho, here I go,
Lookin’ for my missin’ piece.”

— Shel Silverstein

Have you ever misplaced yourself and not even realized you were gone until parts of you started turning up unexpectedly?

That’s how I’ve felt over the past few months: I haven’t exactly been lookin’ for my missin’ pieces, but I keep running across them, and it’s a joy whenever I find one.

Last Easter, for the first time in nearly 20 years, I found myself singing Sandi Patty’s “Via Dolorosa” for church. It was very well-received, and it felt good to be there, singing a song I loved in front of an appreciative congregation. It felt as if I’d found a piece of myself that I didn’t even know was missing.

In early June, I volunteered to sing “It Is Well With My Soul.” I realized too late that I no longer had the backing track for it — which apparently had gone out of print — so I wound up working out how to accompany myself at the piano. I hadn’t played piano in front of anybody in at least 25 years, but it felt right. Another missing piece clicked into place.

This fall, somebody invited me to join the local community choir, which puts on a cantata every Christmas, and I found a missing piece in the soprano section.

A self-defense class started tonight at a dojo that opened downtown recently. I bowed in, stepped onto the mat, and plunged into a workout that probably wasn’t half as strenuous as it felt. The missing piece that I grappled and kicked and blocked back into my life tonight is woefully out of shape, and my legs are awfully sore, but I feel better right now than I have in years, and I don’t think it’s just the endorphins.

Emily

Who knows where the time goes?

“Before the winter fire
I’ll still be dreaming;
I do not count the time.”

— Sandy Denny

Ten years ago, trying to cope with the onset of winter and the quiet depression that seems to settle over me with the first frost and stay until the first baseball player reports to spring training, I decided to set up a blog where I could record whatever nature happened to be doing in my yard every day. I thought winter might seem more tolerable if I spent a few minutes in the garden every day, looking for signs of life.

A decade later, I’m still looking, and although there have been some periods of extended silence here while I worked on other projects, I keep coming back. In many ways, this blog has become a kind of touchstone in a life prone to sudden changes and unexpected adventures.

I can’t begin to list everything that’s happened, but it’s probably worth mentioning that since I set up this site one cold, clear night in Red Fork — a cup of Red Zinger at hand, a rat terrier curled up on the floor beside me, and visions of spring dancing in my head in lieu of the more seasonally appropriate sugarplums — I have lost twin nieces; gained two nephews and two nieces; lost and regained a career; spent four years teaching sophomore English, a job that nearly killed me the first time I tried it but probably saved me the second; lost Scout; gained Riggy, Walter and Lil Miss; painted an artcar; learned to play guitar (badly); moved 450 miles; gleefully turned 40; and last but certainly not least, written and published my first novel.

A decade later, it’s a cool, rainy night in Cape Girardeau as I sit at my desk 450 miles from Red Fork, a cup of Wild Berry Zinger at hand, a different rat terrier curled up on the floor beside me, and dreams of spring still dancing in my head. The details are different; the essence is the same.

“I have,” Sandy Denny once said, “no thought of leaving.”

Emily