Pardon me for referring to you as Muse. I know that is the name most people call you, but it seems so impersonal to me. I do wish you might tell me your real name, the one which you chose for yourself. I sometimes imagine all sorts of names for you. Sometimes you are Beauty. Sometimes you are Sun or Moon, Wind or Sky. Sometimes you are Mint or Lavender or the colours of the Autumn leaves—Orange, Red, or Yellow. Those are lovely names, aren’t they? But those are all my names for you, and while these names capture a part of you I experience, I so wish you would tell me your real name.
I am writing to tell you how much I enjoy our daily walks together. I love our landscape, don’t you? Being outside, just you and me, exposed to the crisp air, hearing the morning sounds of birds begin to sing, watching the sky turn from dark to light, I love this time with you. I suppose it is the seasonal patterns I love most—watching Spring come with green, Summer with her full light, Autumn with her gold, and Winter with her darkness. There is comfort in knowing that while our landscape changes from season to season, month to month, even day to day, it holds a deep continuity--the moon and sun always rise and fall--and our landscape always holds you and me.
I am sorry we have to come inside so often. I sense that you would rather stay outside than come indoors with me. I wish we could always be outside together, but I do have so much daily work to do—mothering, organizing, cooking, and feeding. I know you know these tasks wear me out, but thanks for staying with me indoors. I know it gets busy, and sometimes I don't have the time to chat, but I know you are there and I find that reassuring.
Do you remember Monet, the French impressionist painter? I love how he painted outside, with the wind and rain, capturing light on a single lily or the same haystack: over and over again, he would paint the same object. That’s how it feels sometimes when we step outside together. I see the same thing over and over again, just in different light. Paintings don’t come to me like Monet, but words do, simple words and phrases that catch the ordinary light of the moment. Maybe your name is Light?
But as much as I love the light, I also crave the darkness. I haven’t always looked at the darkness this way. Our walk recently taught me that the darkness has its beauty too. Do you remember our walk under the November full moon? I was a bit scared to step outside, just you and me, into the full darkness of the plowed stubble field, but once we did, I felt free. With just the light of the moon, we could see the path before us. We climbed up the hill and talked about writing projects. The moon even helped me catch a few haiku that morning. Maybe your name is Darkness? Or maybe it is Ordinary.
I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. I am so appreciative of your presence in my life.
PS: Do consider telling me your real name.