Letter to Sunshine Valley

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Dear Claire,
The season must be full upon you
up in Sunshine, the valley cold, frost come and gone,
the aspens bright in those seams of the mountain
where aspens grow. Here in the city I lift my gaze
and take in the purple daisies which are already fading
and the chamisa which grows brighter still.
There are rumors of gold in our mountains
but I have yet to confirm them.

I’m going for apples this weekend, and hope
to fill a box or three because that is what I do and who I am:
the woman who gathers fruit. But the truth is
I don’t care so much about those things as I once did.
I’m writing poems again, and can’t be bothered
to hang laundry and peel roasted chile or make apple sauce,
though sooner or later I get up and do those things anyways
because that is what happens when you have done some good thing
enough times. It is in me and I am glad.
And what is a poem if not a clean swept floor,
a pot of apples simmering on a fall day?

I might not be noticing the leaves changing yet,
but in the lessening light I feel the fall reckoning
come roaring out of me. Like leaves on a tree
in October, down comes certainty, one belief
at a time. In the end, there I am, branches bare,
no longer who I thought I was, or sought to be.
It all gets held up to the light and if not discarded, exposed.
All those hanging threads and thin places;
it takes days to get through the pile.
In the end there is some scrap of cloth that is intact
and that is enough to go forward with
into these darkening days.

This is all just a long way to say
that your daughter is as lovely as the days are sunny,
and I’m so happy to see her in your arms.
Let each season carry you the way you carry her,
as motherhood shapes you and strips you and fills you anew.
After the apples get picked, we’ll make our way
to the mountains to see for ourselves the rain of gold,
and one of these days I’ll make it to your place, back home,
whatever that means, wherever that is.

Love Kyce

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12 thoughts on “Letter to Sunshine Valley

  1. I love this, Kyce. I want to weep for the beauty of it…Thank you for gifting us with your artful words! I will share it with my staff at our next meeting. Love, Sarah

  2. Really needed to hear that right now as the threads wear thin and bounty awaits us. And there is a Salvation Army on the next corner as the beef simmers…

  3. I love the epistle form! These lines struck me:

    In the end, there I am, branches bare,
    no longer who I thought I was, or sought to be.
    It all gets held up to the light and if not discarded, exposed.
    All those hanging threads and thin places;
    it takes days to get through the pile.
    In the end there is some scrap of cloth that is intact
    and that is enough to go forward with
    into these darkening days.

    Beautiful! You inspired me to start my own letter… here as I am visiting Santa Barbara…a letter to you my dear friend, which I will share when I return! Reflecting on the meaning of “harvest” in our lives.
    I love your delicate sensibility… always an inspiration and deep soul conversation!

    Love Jennifer

  4. I will look forward to your letter with great pleasure! It would be wonderful to see a world filled with women writing epistle poems to one another…

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