[Excerpt from "Blossoms"]
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
by Li-Young Lee
Well, I did survive another marker without my mom - my birthday last week. And as the poem says, I did it by flying headlong from one joy to the next and drinking as deeply from each one as I could. Memorial Day weekend visits from family members, cookouts and making homeade ice cream, graduations (from our kindergarten Maddie to our high school senior neighbor, Maddi!) - sports events for each of four grands ---
The rush of life continues to catch me in its wake and it pulls me forward when I let it ... if I don't overthink the moments. That hole of dark sadness is deep, but God placed me in a lovely place and surrounded me with beautiful, sweet children .. and when they tempt me out I know that is the way He planned it and Mom would want it. What an amazing thing - this human spirit - what wonderful gifts of grace our creator gave us to help us heal! I see it in nature at every turn.
This is the butterfly bush that nearly fried to a crisp a couple of years ago when I first planted it at about 1.5 ft tall! Everyone thought it was truly gone ... so dry, brittle and burnt it was. Instead I attacked it with a small pair of snips -- two solid hours of cutting away each branch and twig until I saw "green". And the healing began! That first blooming was such a thrill for me to see ... and it's been a constant delight to me in every season.
I was "out of commission" this fall when it should have been cut back ... and as you can see it's now taking over the entire corner of the yard (which is fine, because otherwise it's just a wasted slope!).
And now it's giving me hours of entertainment between the bees, butterflies, dragonflies feasting there. And I'm still trying to get a shot of the amazing site of the brilliant cardinals or jays that perch there at times. And ohhhh, the fragrance! Wish I could bottle the combination of sage, butterfly bush and honeysuckle in my yard at the moment - and save it for a cold winter day!
I had originally planned a pond for this corner with seating around it ... but now I can't bear to lose the bush!
View Large On Black
View Large On Black
I'm so loving this poem ... it seems to fit me these days as I lift out of grief and look around to find that I have moved forward -- I've walked sometimes with a bounce in my step; I've looked and actually seen - and touched and smelled -- and lived.
Looking Around, Believing
by Gary Soto
How strange that we can begin at any time.
With two feet we get down the street.
With a hand we undo the rose.
With an eye we lift up the peach tree
And hold it up to the wind — white blossoms
At our feet. Like today. I started
In the yard with my daughter,
With my wife poking at a potted geranium,
And now I am walking down the street,
Amazed that the sun is only so high,
Just over the roof, and a child
Is singing through a rolled newspaper
And a terrier is leaping like a flea
And at the bakery I pass, a palm,
Like a suctioning starfish, is pressed
To the window. We're keeping busy —
This way, that way, we're making shadows
Where sunlight was, making words
Where there was only noise in the trees.