Thursday, October 11, 2012

Find the River

I hope I remember this morning.  Last night was a late night at the Haunted Forest for Nick and Nicholas, so I opted out of yoga to let Nick sleep in.  Nicholas did not enjoy the same indulgence since he promised if we let him work school nights he'd get up for seminary.  And he did.  He woke up pleasantly, ate his eggs, and went to the car a few minutes early to plug in his ipod.  When I got in, he was playing something loud. "Mom, when I heard this song play last night in the front circle I leveled like four groups; I was so pumped.  I was on stilts and my knee was burning but it was so fun."

The song played and I smiled at the memories it would later bring him.  Probably images of a pulsing crowd, frightened faces, party lights flickering in the distance and the smell of smoke and funnel cake riding the current of the forest air. A few minutes later Jack got into the car and the first song gave way to the second.  They were surprisingly chatty, not a common occurrence for red-eyed teenagers driving to seminary in the cold, black morning.  As we passed Aunt Jills, the second song became the third and I thought, "Oh, REM, I love them. I bet Nicholas doesn't even know this song, since he got most of his music from Nick's computer."  As if he'd read my mind, Nicholas told Jack that this was his favorite REM song.  Ironically, I said, "What's the name of it again?" "Find the River," he told me.  "It has the best words of them all."  It has the best words of them all? He's listening.  Me, my thoughts are flower strewn, ocean storm, bayberry moon. I have got to leave to find my way... I sought to really listen until we turned the last corner and he pulled the plug on the tunes.  "See ya, Mom."

It was no surprise that my eyes teared as I watched the two boys walk shoulder to shoulder up the dark pathway to the church.  They've about grown up.  They're thinking their own thoughts and discovering which songs touch their hearts and minds.  My first, fleeting impulse was to call Jessica and say, "You won't believe it, but I'm looking at it right now. Those little boys of yours are going to grow old." I sat there in my robe and thought a minute, then plugged in my phone and selected the song that speaks to my boy.  My heart warmed as I thought of him, and why he loves the words.  I imagine it has a lot to do with the river and his excitement for paddling, but does it go any deeper?  Could he possibly feel the same poignant nostalgia that the song wells up in me?  For it's compelling metaphor of a boy who is just setting out on life.  Does he recognize the beautiful, poetic images of home and the natural world set against the pull of the world.  Maybe. But maybe not yet.  For now, perhaps, the promise of a winding river emptying into the open sea is enough for a kid of fifteen. Either way, I am compelled to sit on my couch in the first light of morning and write a few words to a boy I love.  This is your song now, Nicholas.  Pick up here and chase the ride. The river empties to the tide. All of this is coming your way.

Hey now, little speedyhead,
The read on
 the speedmeter says
You have to go to task in the city
Where people drown and people serve.
Don't be shy. Your just deserve
Is only just light years to go.
Me, my thoughts are flower strewn
Ocean storm, bayberry moon.
I have got to leave to find my way.
Watch the road and memorize
This life that pass before my eyes.
Nothing is going my way.
The ocean is the river's goal,
A need to leave the water knows
We're closer now than light years to go.
I have got to find the river,
Bergamot and vetiver
Run through my head and fall away.
Leave the road and memorize
This life that pass before my eyes.
Nothing is going my way.
There's no one left to take the lead,
But I tell you and you can see
We're closer now than light years to go.
Pick up here and chase the ride.
The river empties to the tide.
Fall into the ocean.
The river to the ocean goes,
Afortune for the undertow.
None of this is going my way.
There is nothing left to throw
Of Ginger, lemon, indigo,
Coriander stem and rose of hay.
Strength and courage overrides
The privileged and weary eyes
Of river poet search naivete.
Pick up here and chase the ride.
The river empties to the tide.
All of this is coming your way.


jill said...

What a beautiful and moving post. Thanks for writing it. I'll always remember little Nicholas and Jack peering through my basement window when they were little. They grow up so fast.

Anjie said...

What the.....?

Jek Nicol said...

LOvED THIS TODAY AS MUCH AS I DID THEN. THen I started to cry a bit, when I read about my little pumpkins growing up.