Summer and the Shadow Mountain Moon
Sunday gratefuls: Washing machines. Clothes dryers. Seoah’s Korean dumplings. Joe’s crazy schedule. Mary scoring a sleeping berth on the Amtrak from Denver to Milwaukee. The blue plastic tub that will keep my Hawai’i stuff in Joe’s garage. Hawai’ian donuts. Today! Again. And, as Kate would say, the penultimate day in Paradise.
Sparks of Joy and Awe: Seoah coming past while we were watching 1917: Woodrow Wilson, she said. She’s studying for her citizenship exam. Life. Definitely life.
Kate often spoke of the tincture of time. A healer when nothing else will do. And so it has been. Here with family who loves me. With an Island state that feels like home. With Murdoch, a dog Kate loved in spite of the loss of two finger tips. With books like Ishmael, The Starless Sea, Grief and Loss. With my computer and keyboard. With friends on Zoom, classmates, too. Rabbi Jamie. But most of all with time ticking by, allowing the pain and the tears to plow and water my soul.
On this morning the Birds sing. The Sun rises. I have Italian roast coffee in my cup. The Mourning Dove coos. And I am at peace. My stomach calm. My heart easy. Will it last? I imagine so. Oh, there will still be moments of shock. Kate’s death will come quick and hard. Yes, there will be those. Part of my life, not a shroud over my psyche.
As Seoah says, “It’s life.” Yes, it is. Even death is part of life. We need not die ourselves. That will be for another day, another hour. This one, this day, this hour has the Trade Winds, the scent of the Ocean. Life. Still.
I think now. That dream of Hawai’i. Living here. A way to get psychic space from Colorado, from the caregiving years, from death. Needed. A beautiful possibility, a way to go forward far from the pain. Might it still happen? Oh, yes. It might. It just might. But not for a good long while. A year at least. Maybe more. Maybe not at all.
Inner peace. The true and always Island of my yearning. Found again, still. On these real Islands, Pele’s children, born of fire and water under a light blue sky. Elemental, my dear Watson.
The power here. Raw and primal. Yet also gentle. No Mt. St. Helen’s. No Mt. Etna. No Stromboli. No Krakatoa. Lava flowing from new vents. Lava slowly claiming new territory, building new Island. Even under the water off the Big Island. The Sun’s heat, the merciless Sun (Lahina), moderated by the Trade Winds. The red Land, volcanic Soil, rich, fecund. Once also flowed from now extinct Volcanoes. Riding the Plate Tectonic. Surfing the Mantle of our beloved Planet. No wonder my heart has come to rest.
Of course, the Rockies, too, are primal. Yet in their own way, their orogeny, more violent. Inertial power. More Plates, crashing this time, not surfing. Rending each other, pushing skyward ancient Rock buried it thought forever. No. Ripped out of its resting place, crunched into peaks and valleys.
Minnesota, too. Glacier scoured, pitted Rock filled with Water. I guess Jack London, whose novels inspired my move first to Wisconsin, then Minnesota, must have unwrapped my need for these real places where Nature carves, shapes, sears. Not the more eroded spots like the Appalachians or the Plains or the Mississippi Delta.
My soul flourishes in these starker environments where nuance does not rule. It too has shifting plates, moving slowly yet inexorably. Fiery spots that create new land. Watery places that give me depth. Places of air and sky and space where I can breathe.
Well. Enough of this. I witnessed an amazing spectacle here this morning, a good portion of which I got on video. Four Mynah Birds fighting, rolling over each other, wings and feet inverted. Then a remarkable conference, one pair facing the other, heads bowing, apparent discussion, heads bowing. A long time, two or three minutes. Then, another rough and tumble. One pair flew up to the roof while the other two remained on the ground. After, one of those two also attacked a Cattle Egret straying into the wrong space.
The video file is to0 big to post, but of you see me and want to look at it, let me know. One of the more remarkable things I’ve ever seen.
Last. The Starless Sea. A novel. If you love stories and books and libraries and rainy days with cocoa and a new work by your favorite author, this book. Well… A favorite read this year. Reminds me of Borge, but less edgy.