Summer and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Monday gratefuls: All season tires back on Ruby. Rigel up here right now.My books. My need to prune my books. Coming home to Shadow Mountain from down the hill. Doing things as they need doing. Seoah wearing her new pearls at a Cajun restaurant. Her reaction to the gift.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Seeing Kate’s jewelry on others.


Rigel moved the chair. Again. Gotta come up with a new plan. It’s a chair I have in place to prevent her from coming up to the loft. So she won’t tumble down and  break her neck. Infirm legs. But. She wants to come up. Get a treat. Say hi. She’s always done it. So why not now?

I walk down the loft stairs in front of her, my Rigel. Ready. To catch her 100 pound body if she slips. She doesn’t. Sure footed, she heads down ahead of me. Still don’t think it’s safe. I need a new way to prevent her.

The first day we got her and her sister, Vega, the first day, she stuck her head in the wooden gate and got stuck. I had to take the gate apart to get her head out. Later on she convinced Vega and Kona to follow her over the back fence. She’d found a fallen tree limb with just enough traction to climb. The electric fence worked. The first time.

She and Vega also dug holes in the sandy soil of Andover. Tag team. Vega dug. Rigel dug. Their butts disappearing in their pursuit of…what? No idea except maybe a cool spot.

Kep and Rigel have held me up, greeted me, slept with me. I am not alone, nor lonely. Without them I’m not sure.

Lakewood this morning. Stevenson Toyota. Change snow tires. Yes, the day after July 4th I still had snow tires on Ruby. But, I didn’t drive her for the six weeks prior to my return. Really May 14th. And we had snow the week before. Big snow. Why I kept them on even though Joe had set up an appointment for me before I left for Oahu.

As I drove down the mountain, the pop refrain, “Takin’ care of business” kept ear worming through my thoughts. Same song when I went to Leigh Thompson, when I took Kep into see the dermatologist, when I drove to the Happy Camper.

Continuing to do the usual, the necessary. Get groceries. Go to mussar. Breakfast with Alan. A jazz night with Jon. I feel, what? Grounded in this new life. Like an agent again. Able. Alive.

Do I wish Kate were here? Of course, I do. I miss her in ways without words to describe them. How her sleeping downstairs comforted me wherever I was. How her smile in the morning warmed my heart. How her telling me to zip up made me laugh. I’m glad you still notice, I’d say. Yes. She’s gone and that has left a larger than life size hole.

Yet, life does go on. Mine. Jon’s. Ruth’s. Gabe’s. Joe’s. Seoah’s. All those who loved her and remain alive. Our lives continue. But, not unchanged. Changed in ways that are not  yet clear. Changed in ways we  could not anticipate. In ways that have not yet manifested. Awaiting the splitting open of the chrysalis of mourning and grief.


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