Hey, Pardner

Written By: Charles - May• 08•21

Beltane and the Moon of Mourning

Saturday gratefuls: Kate, sticky with the honey harvest. Kate, shepherding me into a shower, giving me antihistamines after multiple bee stings. Kate, Celt, and I at the St. Kate’s art fair in St. Paul. Cody Wise, a Wells Fargo Banker. Rich Levine, bee keeper. Rabbi Jamie. Mark Koontz, of Primitive Landscaping. He will extend and replant the Iris bed and put in three Miss Kim lilacs in the back. BJ live on the radio with Schecky.

Sparks of Joy: Beekeeping. Getting tasks done.

Wild grapes waiting for Kate to turn them into jelly

Yesterday afternoon I pulled out all the honey harvesting equipment: uncapping knife and rake, solar wax renderer, motorized extractor, buckets, and filters. Took it to the driveway so Rich could pick it up for our work this morning with Sofia.

As I moved these objects, each last touched by us in 2014 when we moved, a wave of sadness and longing swept over me. Kate and I were partners. We grew flowers, picked fruit in our orchard, planted and harvested vegetables, managed a pack of dogs. My partner is dead. I missed her so much in that moment. Went back inside, sat down, cried for a bit. Not paroxysmally, but tears running down my face.

We were bound together by those things of the soil, of the four-leggeds, of the six-legged. It was a good life until the physical burden of became onerous. The move to the mountains, here on Shadow Mountain, came at a time when we needed to set down those tasks, pass them onto the younger couple that bought our Andover home.

We partnered again, living in the move. It took us most of 2014 to get ready and we worked hard. Once here in the Rockies we found ourselves tested by cancer, by Jon’s divorce, by Kate’s medical issues. Through it all. Partners.

Even to the last. Death with dignity. Yes, the right choice for you, I said. Even beyond the last. I’ve hired a landscaper who will fulfill two of Kate’s last wishes, a larger Iris bed in front and Lilacs planted in back. Half of her ashes will go into the Iris bed in August when family gathers to honor her on her birthday, August 18th.

Those tears, that sadness. It was for the good stuff. The way we lived together, always. Yes, I miss my pard, as we might say here in the West, but the knowledge and memory of how we were together does and will sustain me as I move forward.

Grief is the price we pay for love.


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