Oh, the Times We Had

Beltane and the Moon of Shadow Mountain

Monday gratefuls: Great Sol now lighting us up earlier and earlier. My Lodgepole Companion happy, Needles up, swaying a bit in Mountain Breezes. Inner weather. Internet returns. Learning about halakah, how to live a Jewish life. Learning my Torah portion. Learning how to pronounce parts of the morning service. Ancora imparo. Ichigo-iche.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Exercise

One brief shining: Years ago in the casino on the Amsterdamm, somewhere between New York City and Ft. Lauderdale, I got on a winning streak, blackjack, a game which I played every afternoon five days a week as long as I carried newspapers in Alexandria, thousands of hands, this time in honor of Merton’s brother, Kate’s uncle who had died just before we left on this post-retirement cruise around Latin America, dedicating any winnings to a charity he would have approved, not much, maybe $150, still, and the folks crowded around me, brushed my back, wanted my luck which was more leavened by skill than in most gambling.


Oh the times we had. Seeing Europe by Eurail. The Sistine Chapel. Red checkered tablecloths in Vienna. The Botticelli’s in the Uffizi. The Grand Canal from the rail terminal. That first view of the Pacific when entering the lobby of the Mauna Kea. Dinner at Mama’s Fish House. Going twice through the Panama Canal. Harvesting honey. Swatting off bees as we ran the honey harvester. Kate in her bandana, trowel in hand, Ninja Weeder! Quiet evenings with the dogs around the fire pit. Doing our laundry in Paris. Seeing heather and tartan making in Inverness. Cooking together. Holding hands.

We went to Greece and Turkey, Korea and Singapore, most of the way around Latin America, enjoying each other, laughing and having frustrating moments. We worked together as a team, making Andover a spot better than it was when we got there. A place fruitful with Apple Trees, Cherry Trees, Plums, Pears, and Currants. A sweet place with hives of Honeybees working hard. A place filled with fresh Vegetables and beautiful Flowers all season long. A place we nurtured that nurtured us back.

We cared for, played with, and cried over so many Dogs. Over Jon and Joe. Over Mark that one year. And finally we uprooted it all and carried the festival of our life to Shadow Mountain. Where life became merged with Mountains, Wild Neighbors, Judaism, and the grandkids. Yes, she’s been dead for three years. But neither gone nor forgotten.


Just a moment: After the food poisoning and for much of last week, I fell into a slump. I mentioned this when I talked about how my psyche can suffer when my body feels bad. After some self therapy, literally, after the nausea fading not even into memory but away, after reengaging the bar mitzvah work yet to be done and prepping for my final conversion session with Rabbi Jamie, my strong self has returned. Able. Caring. Dedicated. At work and at play. Wish I had a way to alert myself when I head off the rails since the self I condemn then is in fact the same self I now applaud.