It has been a week for the record books in my life. Monday, my aunt, who I loved but barely saw in the last four decades, died after a short illness. Tuesday, a young woman I watched grow up, a dear friend’s daughter, died after valiantly fighting, loving and working to survive advanced cancer. Wednesday, a friend’s ex-husband killed himself. And today? I’m going to a funeral, and not for any of these people but for an old friend and poet, Philip Kimball, whose storied life we’ll celebrate. When love and grief, which so often go hand in hand, gallop into a week, there’s no sense in not opening wide the doors.
Now I sit on the porch, my almost-all-finished cold/sinus deal fading enough that I’m not too sleepy or hyped up on cold medicine. The green leaves of the Osage Orange shine in the sun as bees weave between the leaves, some of which have brightly yellowed. The cedar nearby moves its arms in slow motion. A hidden bird chirps, “Now. Now, now.” My car naps on the cement landing. Crickets do their spinning clicking flight from forest floor to leaf.
The stillness of this moment is full of blue and yellow light, the dog’s pacing across the planks of the porch, the hum of important cars in the distance on their way to somewhere possibly desired. It’s likely the last, or one of the last, summer-ish afternoons in the center of autumn, balancing between the lengths of heat a month ago and the nipping of cold a month ahead.
I believe in the utter beauty available to us each moment, but there are some, like right now, when that beauty magnifies itself. Slim golden leaves rain down, then pause. The buzz and bark of various critters, on the hoof or the wing, swirl through the air. And the air is lusciously easy to inhabit, the perfect temperature for human ease and comfort.
What is there to do? Nothing, so I lie down on this outdoor futon couch, pull an old, thin quilt over myself, and close my eyes, so grateful to land here, and so grateful to travel all week through love and tenderness, which is why, more than anything else I can fathom, we are here for each other.