September 2, 2019
At the end of every month, I spend some time in reflection. This used to take the form of a very structured series of questions, but this year it's become more of a deep attention to my own inner landscape. Here are three things on my heart.
My dear grandma passed away. She was a grandma of rhubarb and chokecherries and strudla, of wizened apple trees and head scarves, of dress-up clothes and pink ronies (if you know, you know), of no-nonsense wisdom and songs in the rocking chair. She and my grandpa gifted me with a thirst for simplicity and a glimpse into the enduring beauty of a lifetime love. There are many more words to say, but at least for now, I'll hold them close.
I learned to skip stones. I was in Twizel with Hassan when the word came about my grandma and I was at loose ends with my grief, all the way across the world from the people who shared it with me. How do you mourn in that empty space, bereft of familiarity and ritual? We went to a little mountainside lake where he taught me how to choose just the right stone, how to release it with a graceful flick of the wrist, and perhaps most importantly, how to celebrate jubilantly over an especially good run of skips. It was exactly what I needed when I didn't know what I needed.
As I was sitting in a patch of watery spring sunshine with my dear friend Chris, a flock of birds skimmed directly over us with a resounding WHOOSH. Our heads lifted to follow them, and after a moment of open-mouthed awe, we turned to each other in utter delight. There is a bright sparkle in the air when joy and friendship and nature find their way together.
There is a sacredness to every one of these, just as there is in stretching your arms in the morning, going to the grocery store, or looking at the stars - these simple acts of moving through this world in our own way. We make much of the thunderbolt moments in life, but in the end, aren't we all just on a long walk under an expansive sky? If we're lucky (and I certainly am) we get to do it with people who let us drink grape juice on white carpet and teach us to skip stones and know how to grin at birds.