Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hanging out at the interface

As an organic chemist, I know that when we are holding a container with two liquids that don't mix (think salad dressing) there is lots of action inside those two liquids. It is particularly interestng at the point where the two liquids meet. What appears to our eye as a smooth line separating the two liquids is everything but calm and static down on the molecular level. Molecules zip around, hit the wall, bounce back to stay with their own kind, maybe get through to the other side for a little while, then get knocked back where they belong. Maybe a few will stay awhile in the foreign territory. Maybe some will even react with a stranger and be changed forever into something new, a new molecule, that will then choose which space is home.

I love that we live at many interfaces. When I was walking a week or so ago with a niece and a great-niece, a puppy and Dover, we were taken by the juxtaposition of rain drops on the red maple leaves we were strolling through. Water drops of varying sizes beaded up into bright jewels on a leafy setting. Interfaces galore! Water on waxy leaf, solid color under transparent beads, reflections of the sky on the surface of the water, while its under surface rested on an earthy base. Signs of death and decline in the red leaves harbored the life-giving promise of water. 

In the extended warm weather this October, the morning glories on the front fence continue to flaunt their exquisite color on our curve of the street – well past their seasonal allotment. The weather is warm, but the days are short; now the blue flowers are outnumbered by the spent petals of yesterday, which in turn are outnumbered by seed pods in varying states of development. Yesterday's crumbling petals. Today's brilliant blue. Tomorrows' furled buds. And next year's promise of new life, new blue, new gifts.

And then there is Dover. He keeps watch; he lies in thresholds, in doorways, keeping a quiet lookout for change. If one of us moves rooms, he silently rouses and repositions so he stays between us; he knows that's where the action might be. Perhaps we will reach for a tennis ball, or perhaps . . . a treat? Perhaps one of us will bend down and touch his head, or – sadness – someone might be leaving. He establishes his space between our spaces – at the interface. Therein lies his – and my – belief that that is a place of transformation, from the apparent stillness of a moment to the promise of adventure and joy, both of which are already forming in that apparently quiet, in-between space.


  1. This is beautiful Nancy. Thank you for positing.

  2. Enjoying your blog. Robert and Linda