I am grateful for pink skies at dawn, the relentless rhythms of the sea, and new beginnings.
I am grateful for the time to pursue my interests, to consider my curiosity an insistent companion and provocateur, tempting me to push further, dance around obstacles, remove impediments, and humble myself.
This night we stand under the archway protected from the rain looking towards heaven's alchemy of light and water, the ultimate lightcatcher.
No, I am sifting through my remembrance and experience for those tiny moments of revelatory light that expose character, the focal point searching for the virtue and honor that spring from those moments of vulnerability and fear, and the split second, just after, when love overcomes all.
Maya Angelou called time the imponderably valuable gift. The amorphous nature of time, it's fluidity an abstraction that flows around and through us passing uncherished, unnoticed in the busy buzz of our daily lives until the days have shortened, there is less light, and the winter season of life is upon us. This night, far from the light pollution of which we are accustomed, the cluster of tall trees appear to pray to luminous Luna asking her to slow her travels across the darkened sky and extend the beauty of our time in the wood.
I miss him, my Dad, especially when the remembrance envelops and overwhelms me as it does this evening and surprises me with its power, seeming to come out of nowhere. But, that is how it is now, unexpected, heartwrenching. The first time he faltered was the last time, and as the chronometer of his days began to tick off towards the end, it measured precisely six weeks, 42 days of hope that concluded with all that love having nowhere to go, so it turned on itself, inward, and left an unfillable hole.
The years we were runners, I must ask him at dinner, does he remember? Early morning dashes across the Trinity Bridge before the sun had even come up over the skyline of Dallas. How Oz-like it appeared? Or those heated weekend mornings out at White Rock Lake when the temperature pre-dawn was 85 degrees and by 8 am too intense for anything but shade. Or the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, all that silliness and then gorging ourselves with friends?
The pristine white of the spiny cactus, painstakingly nurtured for 40 years, surrounded by dense wet lushness presents the paradox of the garden on this rainy afternoon. I think of the duality of Eden as wilderness or paradise - one to be harnessed and controlled, the other to be cherished and protected and I question whether it must be one or the other? Context and choice have led me to a moral ecology that celebrates commonality over differences, and the belief that it is possible to live harmoniously, the cacti and the olive tree.
The fissure runs deep up the verdant hillside, a crack of considerable length and depth, dividing the herd and I wonder where and how they come together. Perhaps it is on the other side of the hill, just beyond the horizon, hidden by the marine layer. The schism snakes in front of me in stark contrast to the gentle slope of the hillside, nature making the divide a thing of beauty. Seemingly out of nowhere, a shiver runs up my body and I pull tighter my open coat and head to the car.
The bright hot light of late afternoon casts shadows across our room in this beautiful craftsman home of 100 years in this remote seaside town. Your glasses in the corner where you left them before you started our dinner. That salad. Your own concoction of vinegars and oils, sunflower seeds and cashews, grapes and goat cheese, and a mix of spring lettuce to give it shape. Tonight, he adds grilled chicken, which I know only from the smells that are rising from the deck, like the dinner bell calling me to supper.