Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Tears on a Tuesday April 17, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 10:20 AM
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BETWEEN FORKSFUL of the ultimate comfort food, homemade mac and cheese, I am crying. Not just tears, but great sobs that heave my shoulders, force me to remove my eyeglasses, cause me to place my head between my hands, elbows resting upon the table.

Issues of the day—anger and disappointment, worry and concerns—have welled up within me to this bursting point of emotions.

My husband sits in silence, forking mac and cheese into his mouth while the torrent of words and tears releases. I wonder what he is thinking. Perhaps that his wife has momentarily lost it.

Sometimes, though, it is good to cry, to let it all out, to be true to yourself and how you are feeling.

I tell him, too, that I feel, in this moment, as grey as the day in this longest of Minnesota winters. I want to run away from the snow and the cold and the gloom, all of it. And I think then of my mother who occasionally uttered similar despair, her desire to just run away, away from the pressing responsibilities of raising six children. Her issues are not mine. And the concerns I feel on this day are not all that major, but too much for me on this Tuesday.

So, after supper, after the left-over comfort food has been scooped into a container and tucked into the refrigerator, after I’ve washed the dishes, I suggest a walk at the local nature center. I grab my camera, slip into my Sorels, pull a stocking cap onto my head, zip my sweatshirt.

Entering River Bend Nature Center, I eye the next-door prison with seemingly infinite scrolls of razor wire unfolding before me. The site is disconcerting. I am always troubled by the prison’s presence right next to the nature center.

But as our car follows the road that dips and curves past the pond and the woods and then zooms down the hill to the center’s parking lot, I can feel the easing of tension in my shoulders.

Deer cluster in the woods at Riverbend Nature Center, Faribault.

Deer cluster in the woods at River Bend Nature Center, Faribault.

Then my husband spots the deer clustered in and on the edge of the woods and I slip from the car, leaving the door ajar so I can photograph them.

For the next hour there are no tears, no hurried worried words or thoughts, in this place of serenity.

These corn-fed deer show little fear.

These corn-fed deer show little fear.

Curious brown-eyed deer. Heads turned toward me, radar ears on alert.

Leaping across a path near the nature center parking lot.

Leaping across a path near the nature center parking lot.

Graceful leap of legs. The click of the shutter.

Last year's nest...

Last year’s nest…

Along the muddied trails, reflections of bare trees in puddles and promises of spring in green moss on dead logs. Last season’s nests bared by bare branches.

Geese on the prairie pond.

Geese on the prairie pond.

The trill of birds and the bark of geese in the swampland pond. Ripples in water. Golden sun setting. The swatch of red on a blackbird’s wings.

And in the prairie a weaving tunnel trail in the brown earth and the memories of this place waving in summer-time wildflowers and tall grass.

Day fades into evening at the nature center.

Day fades into evening at the nature center.

Here I find promise and hope in my evening of despair.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


41 Responses to “Tears on a Tuesday”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Lovely. I know what you write about. I just wrote a post about 10 things to do to turn your day around. Not exactly the same thing but a lot of the same ideas—get outside being one of them! Hope today brings a brighter outlook. It can become overwhelming. I understand. And the weather does not help anything, that is for sure. It is pouring here now but earlier I spied some snowflakes….

  2. Allan Landman Says:

    Does that Deer have any Doe, “yeah, two Bucks! Hope that will bring a smile to your face! It’s an old line, but you needed to hear it anyway. Watching Deer is calming, unless there is a “Kildeer” around. Sorry, I better quit while still behind. Hope today brings happiness and joy for you.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      You succeeded in making me laugh out loud. I always appreciate your humor, Allan. You are a dear (ahem) to make me laugh. Life looks much better this morning, especially after the WordPress issues were resolved (the reason my post was late this a.m.).

  3. I have to agree with you in that a good cry can be refreshing and releasing. Great Captures – thanks for sharing – love the deer jumping over the sidewalk! Have a Great Day:)

  4. That deer leaping across the path is a great shot!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      One of those lucky shots. Should have had the camera set at a faster shutter speed, though.

  5. M. Hatzel Says:

    You’re right, we sometimes need to shed ourselves with sobs. It’s like being soulfully naked after. Nature is the best place to go then. Nice post.

  6. Hugs, we too are weary from the weather….I am thankful for a few projects that have required indoor work….I soaked up nearly every minute of the sun yesterday–though it came with little warmth.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I clipped hydrangea stems down yesterday afternoon. A little sun for a little while.

  7. randy Says:

    How did that deer get the picnic table to balance on it’s head like that?

  8. cecilia Says:

    Darling Audrey, your first year without your son has been a toughie and this winter has been grueling for you.. Good for your husband letting you cry, if someone comes near me when i am miserable or hurt i might bash them. What an excellent choice to take the camera for a drive.. wonderful shots.. I hope you made yourself a nice cup of sweet tea when you got home, i don’t know why but it was the answer for everything as far as my mum and grandma thought. I feel desperate for you, i hope today was better.. c

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Oh, yes, dearest C, today is better. Time to reflect and support from bloggy friends and a real-life friend, have uplifted me. Such care encourages. It has been a year of change and this long winter has dragged me down. Tuesday marked a momentary lapse for me and I shall be fine. I do appreciate your love and care. I truly do.

      • cecilia Says:

        And only a few more weeks and your son will be home and the SUN will be home and all will be well for another wee while, life is such a funny thing and i really really DO understand those washing basket moments.. c

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        And you have just caused me to smile once again with that washing basket moment reference. I remember that story of yours.

      • cecilia Says:

        those sobbing washing basket moments are accumulative there may be a catalyst, but they are a collection of all the sadnesses that we refuse to shuffle away.. they say tears are good, I have never felt it..I think tears are bloody.. when i get the sadness and cry afterwards i push the tears off my face with something akin to shakespearian anger.. thats enough i say to myself..and then i do feel better. but maybe we need it. I wish sunshine for you, wish for it and pray for it! I will send you some tomorrow, some tiny rays, peeping through.. we woman are that magical you know.. c

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        Magical, huh? I will hold you to those tiny rays of sunshine for tomorrow. But I expect I will need to search hard or far given rain and snow are in the forecast for here.

        For me, tears provide a form of release. Seldom do I have such a deep cry like that I experienced on Tuesday, meaning, yes, this apparently was a collection of something which needed to be released. You have been so caring of me today. Thank you, dearest C.

  9. Carol Allis Says:

    I kept dissolving into tears a lot the past few days too — it is good that we have not become so numb to all these horrors that we don’t react anymore. I always take such comfort in hearing all the stories about “the helpers,” as Mr. Rogers used to say. There was a quotation — unattributed — floating around — “Darkness doesn’t end darkness — light does.”

  10. Jackie Says:

    I will break down and admit (fess-up) that even I have noticed the gloom of this extended winter as of late. It’s time to start hanging those clothes out on the line and tending to the garden. This April will be one most of us choose to forget! Sometimes we all need a good cry, it does cleanse the soul! I hope today was a better day, a little sunshine would help a lot, the gray sky is getting old! But until then I would like to send a little Quote I found…

    “God walks with us. He scoops us up in His arms or simply sits with us in silent strength until we cannot avoid the awesome recognition that YES, even now, He is there” 🙂

    Gloria Gaither

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Deepest thanks, my friend, deepest thanks. Another worthy quote for me to reflect upon. And, yes, today has been better.

  11. I hope there is nothing seriously wrong. April can be the cruelest month sometimes.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks for your concern. No, nothing seriously wrong. Rather just a combination of issues that overwhelmed me yesterday.

  12. treadlemusic Says:

    And that was yesterday, today is today and tomorrow is not yet written!! Blessings…..

  13. Anne Butler Says:

    So sorry that you are going through a rough period. I used o have a blog called Irish Muses, and you kindly sent me a copy of your book about Kerry. We are in Donegal County, but we are moving in June to Kerry. I wanted to contact you o say hello. Please email me, so I have a way to contact you.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Anne, thank you so much for your kind concern. But you have confused me with another writer as I have never written a book about Kerry.

  14. Jolene Bergner Says:

    I can relate – very honest and endearing.

  15. Virgil Says:

    Aren’t we fortunate that the good folks on the Bicentennial Horizons Committee developed the idea of RBNC to commemorate the 1976 Bicentenial year. And then with the great cooperation of the City of Faribault and help from the Legislature, brought to fruition a beautiful place like RBNC for all to enjoy and refresh their souls. Many studies have been done and recent books published on how valuable to the pysche of all ages it is to spend time in enjoying the natural world. And in RNBC we have prairie, basswood, maple, oak climax forest, pastures gradually reverting to woods, a meandering river, ponds and all the relaxing things that our senses can enjoy away from the clutter, hubbub and distractions of the world. Thank you Faribault Citizens and thank you Lord!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      You just taught me a lot about River Bend. Thanks, Virgil. And thanks, God, for the beautiful natural world.

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