What I know for sure is . . . not very much.
There are some people, perhaps wiser than I, who can say definitively what they know for certain to be the truth. I’m not one of them. What I do know is that the older I get the more I realize how little I know for sure and I’m okay with that.
Today, in this moment, there are some things that I know to be true at the core of me though.
I know there is something called life and there is an opposite to life which can be death, but can also be simply the absence of life, as in the cold gray steel rung of a fence, or the white plastic roughness of a life preserver hung on that fence. Conversely, when I rest my hands on the surface of a teak table—though the aged timber no longer lives—I can feel energy coming from the warm, weathered, rough wood.
I know that when I’ve been shut up indoors for too long and finally go outside, it is my instinct to rest my palms flat down on the brown earth of a garden, perhaps in an attempt to draw strength from the earth into my being, to refresh myself, to return to who I am.
I know I need to be silent in order to hear the truth the loudest. I know there are lessons to be gleaned by listening to the chirp of a red-winged blackbird or the call of a blue jay who drops in to have a snack at my feeders. I know that if I stand outside at 3am listening to frogs and crickets, inhaling the scent of the night air, and feeling the cool air in my bare skin, I will feel settled and at peace.
I know that the delicate scent of lilac blossoms takes me home. I know that the sight of pink gladioli swaying in the breeze reminds to me of my mother. I know that every new green leaf that appears on the tomato plants I’ve been nurturing from seed fill me with a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
What I know for sure is that I will not be able to touch my core self without going outside. I know that the cold, unwelcoming, sterile, interior of an office building quenches my creativity despite the strategically-placed ficus trees along every corridor. I know that I am meant to go barefoot and that covering my feet with the obligatory professional black trouser socks and shoes every morning shuts down part of me.
I know that those things that are most important to me are not things at all; they are people, not the least of which is a little red-haired girl who calls me “grandma”
Ah yes. Perhaps I know more than I realized.