Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Death in the midst of a non winter

This is not photoshopped. The light really looked like this at sunset the other day. Wow.

The windows are open. A soft, silvery-gold light, accompanied by birdsong, is streaming into the chateau. We are allegedly going to be able to walk around this afternoon in tshirts, shorts, and flip-flops. You would think this is a morning in April, not January. It's so weird!

I was going to host a gathering this week in which, through the reading of poetry and eating of chocolate, we would invoke the birthday of spring. But I never got around to inviting anyone. We had a few cold days, one snowy morning, but that's it. How could I call people together to invoke the warmth of spring? It would have felt completely wrong, like bringing coals to Newcastle.

In spite of the weather, the threshold between this world and the next is wide open at the moment. The souls of people and animals have flown through that threshold during the past week, including the young daughter of friends/neighbors, beloved pets, a baby not quite ready to enter this world, a client's father. They say that everyone dies alone, but I'm not sure that's true. These events seem to occur in clusters, at least it looks that way to me. Today I am steeling myself for the news that a dear friend's mother has crossed over.

I'm reminded to seize the day, not to sweat the small stuff. You never know when your number will come up, never. I will walk and take pictures today, I will attend a meeting with some folks who work with the Capitol Hill Foundation (because I'm doing some writing for them). I will work a little bit, meet a friend for dinner. Today is a good day and I'm grateful to be alive. L'chaim!


ellen abbott said...

It's why I usually don't make long term plans, why I don't think or focus more than a few days ahead, why I don't worry and obsess about what my life might be like in 10 or 20 years from now. I want to enjoy each day as it is given to me.

Jo said...

Beautiful, light-filled pics, apropos of the day.

Peace and L'chaim.

Kerry said...

That golden light: so lovely. Your words are so poignant today. May your day be filled with peace and beauty.

Whitney Lee said...

That light is beautiful.
You're right; we never know when we've reached the end of our road. A good reminder for me today (or this week) as I am sweating all the small stuff. I'm well aware I'm stuck but can't seem to get out of my own way. I think there's a reason I was drawn to read this before shutting down the computer to do a little yoga while the little ones nap...Thank you.

Steve Reed said...

Of course I'm thinking of our Ernie and Ruby, too. Beautiful post, Reya. I love the light!

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks! The family of the young woman has given our entire community a great gift by sharing their experience through the blog and by asking for what they need. They are generous teachers.

Whitney I don't think it's possible to avoid some amount of sweating the small stuff. What I think is important is to remember that we can let go, from time to time.

Taking life for granted is normal. I think we actually benefit from jolts like this.

Angela said...

I am thinking about Death these days, too. Has it got to do with Spring? Here we have very low temperatures, coming from Russia where they have -25 to -30° C. It does not FEEL like spring, but the days get longer. Tomorrow my father will be 92. On Groundhog Day.

steven said...

reya - yeah it's been a wobbly sort of winter with melts, freezes, little snow and super cold then warm. the first words i wrote today were to a friend - "i am so glad to be alive to spend another day in this world!" yeah i am reya!!! i really am!!! steven

Pauline said...

Your words remind me of a favorite quote from Forrest Carter's The Education of Little Tree: "Know that death in life is here with every breaking day; that one without the other cannot be. Learn the wisdom of the earth and then you will know The Way."