In late May of 2008, I found myself living alone for the first time since 1991. My then-husband had decamped. My son accepted a position in a summer exchange program. I faced an unexpected question: Could I survive with only myself for company?
I began posting a weekly essay to the Small Firm Internet Group of the Missouri Bar, (SFIG), in its infancy as a rollicking e-mail listserve of solo and small firm attorneys throughout Missouri. My first few posts consisted of poems from a little book of verses written by soldiers in World War I. The favorable reception invigorated the writer whom I had suppressed within the depths of my fractured soul. The Missouri Mugwump emerged from a thirty-eight year cocoon and stretched her wings.
Every so often, my own words do not fit the mood or occasion in which I wish to make an offering. Such a time arises tonight. After an evening with members of the community in which I live, I find myself unable to articulate anything more than timid gratitude. So, let me offer words of a writer greater than I ever considered it possible for me to become. Take what meaning you might; or simply luxuriate in the perfection of these tender syllables.
Dust of Snow
BY Robert Frost
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.
It’s the ninth day of the sixty-first month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
Crow in a southern-facing tree on the San Joaquin; Andrus Island, the California Delta Loop.