Beltane Moon of the Summer Solstice
Seeing Joseph was life-giving to me. I know that sounds strange, but in the reciprocal way of parent and child, we each affirm the other. Love is like that. It has the power to revivify.
Not that I was dead. Not at all. In fact this past few weeks have been nurturing. I’ve been in good spirits. Yet there is a piece of me that falls into a torpor, a death-like state, in the absence of my son. Perhaps it is that part that sees the future not through my own eyes, but through his. Perhaps it is that part that needs him to be reminded of its existence. Perhaps it is that part that held him, 4 pounds and four ounces, after he came out of the wicker basket at the finish of the long flight from Calcutta to Minneapolis. Whatever it is, I plan to work harder over the next few months to sustain it.
His lieutenant colonel came over as we were finishing breakfast. “You’re Joseph’s Dad?” “Yes.” “He’s a good man.” “Yes, I’ve known that for a long time.” “You did a good job with him.” We did a good job together, Joseph and me. That’s probably it, actually. It’s the thing he and I did together, walking the path from his infancy to adulthood, that shrivels up in his absence. He still walks the path, because it was mainly his project, his life after all, but I’m a vital part of that journey. When we meet we’re again on that path, him and me. Hiking partners.