“See who has fallen in the night, who has left a shape of air walking in their place.” ~”Obituaries,” Billy Collins
This, this day. It is a day of remembering. We will all honor the victims of 9/11. Then some of us will celebrate. For this day is not just a day of memories for those who were pulled, unexpectedly, into heaven. It is also a day for those who came to earth to fill those pockets of air left by former inhabitants whose memories wade in the future. Happy Birthday! to our granddaughter, Elizabeth “Bette Lou” Dawson. For now we are 7.
I am, like so many others, filled with autumnal thoughts when the dog days of August loll at the end of the calendar page. Flip it and September displays its colors. And yet, summer isn’t over. It chooses to linger for a few weeks more. These days. These days should be rolling into 70 degree temperatures, but they invite Indian Summer instead with its mood that fluctuates between 80 and 100 on the temperature Richter scale.
Hiatus. Hi-at-us. I chose to take a break from writing this summer, choosing to say, “Hi!” at us rather than Hitoyou. We all need downtime from something. My husband and I went on a real vacation. We actually left the state! Visiting wonderful family and friends. Driving and visiting through eight states in two weeks. We roll like that.
“Their long white faces so far from the pasture and the cube of sugar…be the bridle that keeps us from straying from each other / be the cinch that fastens us to the belly of each day as it gallops away, hooves sparking into the night.” ~ “Nine Horses,” Billy Collins
Family reunion. Reunion is exactly what it was for me. I was reunited with cousins I have not seen since I was five-years-old. That is what often happens when parents divorce. The child is a young limb on the family tree and is suddenly severed from the branch. These cousins. These cousins are cousins to us all — me and my four daughters — by blood. It’s easy to go through life saying that blood relations don’t mean much when you grow up without such a luxury. It’s easy to fill up that space with friends. Friends who become like family. But oh Honey, when you have the opportunity to meet real family — it’s thick. I’ve missed them. I believe I love them all now much more than I ever could at five-years-old. I love them all; the cousins I barely knew way-back-when, the cousins I’ve come to know via Facebook, the cousins I met for the first time face-to-face, and the cousins I have yet to meet. One day I hope that my daughters can meet these cousins, for these cousins belong to them, too. And I am grateful that my grandchildren have cousins. Cousins who they will grow old(er) and share a lifetime of rememberies with them. Cousins are a good thing, indeed.
“You must enter in / To the small silences between / The leaves, / You must take your time /And touch the very peace / They issue from.” ~ “To Look at Any Thing,” John Moffitt
The bubbling of the coffee pot in harmony with the hum of the refrigerator. Outside, the mechanical whir of the garbage truck and the whizzing of cars on their way to drop children off at school.
Charlotte Sometimes . A book I’ve had “on loan” from my daughter, Liz, for nearly 7+ years. A good read for this summer-to-fall transition.
All of my friends. They are the thread that keeps the tattered cloth of my life whole. Each from a different place, a different time, a different part of me.
For my 20 brothers-and sisters-in-law, all of whom must face their own struggles daily and yet manage to smile, continuing to love us and each other despite our faults.
For my family — every.last.one.of.them.
For the man on the bicycle who rides to (or from?) work every morning in the dark on my way to work, and the young woman who runs, starting her day in a healthy way, under street lamps and past porch lights. I see you. Safe travels.
And for all who need His healing and help.
Here’s to the coming of autumn — more writing, more reading, more loving on family, friends, and life.
To summer’s end, my friend.