There Are Days, Ordinary Days

58  bar rises 29.80 2mph W dewpoint 30 Beltane

New Moon (Hare Moon)

There are days, ordinary days, days you can recall, when your life took a sharp angle turn, or created a swooping curve, perhaps dipped underground or soared up, up into the sky.

It seems I remember, though how could I really, the day I got polio.  I don’t know how this memory got shaped or if it got shaped in the way all  memory does, by our selective recollection of snippets of moments, but here it is.

My mother and I were at the Madison County Fair, held every August on the grounds of Beulah Park.  Mom had wrapped me in a pink blanket and we wandered through the Midway.  There were bright lights strung in parabolic curves and the smell of cotton candy and hot dogs.  I looked out from the blanket, safe on my mother’s shoulder, held in her arms.  And I felt a chill run through me.

Years later I was with my Dad, early in the morning.  We sat in those plastic cuplike chairs in a pale green room.  My mother came up in an elevator on her way to emergency surgery.  Surgeons would try to relieve pressure on her brain from the hemorrhage she had suffered a week before during a church supper.  I got in the elevator and rode up with her.  Her eyes looked away from me, but saw me anyway.  “Soaohn.” she said.  It was the last time she spoke to me.  I was 17.

The evening of my first marriage I wandered down a path in Mounds Park where the ceremony had taken place.  I wore a blue ruffled shirt, music of the Rolling Stones carried through the moist July air.  Butterflies landed on my shoulder.

The night the midnight plane arrived from Calcutta carrying a 4 pound, 4 ounce boy.

The third week of our honeymoon, a northern journey begun in Rome, found us at our northernmost destination Inverness, Scotland.  We had rooms at the Station Hotel, right next to railroad terminal.  It was a cool foggy night and we took a long walk, following for much it the River Ness, which flows into Loch Ness.  We held hands and looked at this old Scots village, the capital of the Highlands.  A mist rose over a church graveyard on our right.

And today.  Planting beets and carrots.  Kate taking a phone call.  The news from the lab about Gabe. Now, after this sunny spring day, life will go on, but its trajectory has changed, changed in a profound way, in a way none of us can yet know.

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