summer’s grace

Today I noticed the activity of birds. A crow dive bombed a raven who took residence in our large fir. The raven ducked with indifference. An eagle circled above our heads as we headed out to Eaglecliff beach. He did not find what he was looking for, he must have something special in mind. I hope it is not my cat. As soon as he left, a gull took the tide and skimmed the water for shellfish. I have started to look up again. Like I did when I was a child. How many air squabbles have I been oblivious to? Love songs? Fearful pleas? Predations? Lullabies?Unknown

I found a swim suit that actually fit me and I jumped off the diving board into a body of water full of living creatures instead of chlorine. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t familiar. I didn’t pay to be here and I have to share the swim with countless unknown others, lurking. And they have to graciously share with me. The creatures unseen. I usually slink in and cling like a large barnacle woman when tide is out and there are four rungs on the dock. But today I leapt uninitiated, despite the sea cucumber, despite the school of tiny shiny fish, despite the little crab, and despite the choppy water and all the bobbing boats pointing their noses out to sea. I jumped with one hand plugging my nose and the other making a terrified fist of determined victory. My daughter laughed at me and clicked. “Now you have proof, Mom.”IMG_2766

When did I start slinking? Did someone tell me I might have a heart attack? It’s so much easier to plunge. I know people have always said that, but I thought they were trying to trick me into it. They were telling me the truth. Courage takes far less energy than fear. Forgiveness is ultimately less exhausting then nursing a grudge. Love gives energy and hate is a full time job with no benefits and less than minimum wage.

When my Dad was at the end of his life he started to shrug his shoulders over things that would normally tie him into knots and he’d say, “What can you do?” He was too ill for anything but peace. I like this memory. Ten years ago yesterday he died: July 8, 2005. They had a mass for him. It makes me chuckle. He hated the church. But he would have come, if he could, if only to see his son and wife. And he would love to stretch his arm protectively around his ¬†nieces all dressed with ribbons in their dark hair, shiny shoes kicking the pews, wiggling in their frilly best.

A friend I haven’t seen in far too long came to visit today. It was quite the catch up we had to do. It had been so long I nearly forgot the name of her siblings and I was a bit afraid to ask how her parents were doing. She feared perhaps my dog was too old to still be alive and she loved the pup. But everyone and the dog are well and whelpish, just a little white and whiskery. When did I get too busy for such dear true friends?

Thank God for summer and these long bright days that remind us we have more time than we think for our beloveds.images


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