Little Rituals

I don't remember exactly the events surrounding this poem below, or what was happening in my life at the time I wrote it.  I don't remember precise sentiments.  I do, however, remember the idea of very much wanting to be reminded over and over about the moments in life that remind me that I am as human as can be and that in the midst of monotony, there is variation.  In the everydayness of detail, there is ritual that will one day make us nostalgic, and I am finding that 'one day' isn't so long off.  In the poem I wanted to convey the surprise and shock of something real and living moving against my palm in total desperation and desire to fill its purpose. Even when that purpose seems small and insignificant. The repetition and constancy of something like a sand crab is comforting and a little bit scary to me.  Scary in that I suddenly see my life as a series of movements that are simple and still difficult for me, and comforting in that my movement is constant, and at the end of the day, makes me happy.

I've read the books I was told to read on putting Remy to bed, which I am glad I read them, and honestly, I'm pretty glad some nights when he finally does go to sleep and I get a little time to mosey about on my own.  Lately though, I've been putting the schedules and rules aside and I, or Carl, have been rocking him to sleep, until he's completely asleep.  Even if the books tell me not to.  For me, it is one of the feelings that gently reminds me that I am alive and that my purpose, however small seeming and insignificant, is pretty great. It is one of the times when I have to stop completely.  I rock back and forth in a dark room and everything is sound.  Repetition has become a friend. I find peace in knowing it will all happen again soon. Instinct seems more important to me now.  I think we all have those moments and tasks that we do because we do. But sometimes it is the ones we are doing like crazy without stopping to wonder why, that are the most beautiful when we take a moment to think about them.  

Sand crabs

round as my thumbnail,
swashed from that deep sea, 
with each wave washed up. 

Kneeling on the shore,
I lean over dozens of tiny holes
where bubbles rise and dome on the surface and sunlight refracts every prayer.
Delivered and already disappearing.
I plung my hands into wet sands.

We race.
Sand crabs
And I, all I want
is to pull up a handful of earth
and feel the frantic movements
against my palm.

 (Did anyone else did for sand crabs?  If not, they are pebble sized little crabs that bury themselves in the sand when a wave comes up on shore.)


Deja said...

Lovely poem. And lovely ideas here. I like this thought of valuing instinct--a wise thought. Lately I've been telling myself that what I want (what I Truly Want) is sacred, and I ignore it at my peril. Instinct seems another way to think of it. Thank you.

lindsay ross said...

Chelsea used to force me to dig for sand crabs and I hated every second of it.... they used to freak me out! Oh, who am I kidding, I'm still afraid of them scurrying around in my hand.

Ani said...

Sand crabs! Thanks for bring back some beautiful memories. I saw the ocean for the first time when I was about 12. I remember thinking that Lake Michigan was far more striking than that New Jersey shore. Then, my mom's friend bent down and dug her fingers into the sand right in front of my sneakers. I jumped with both fear and awe when her hand came back up carrying a squirming crab. It turned into a full afternoon of crab hunting and chasing and castle building.