The weather has been overcast, rainy and cold, on the verge of threatening to snow, but seeming to change its mind for just a little while longer. The leaves are all gone and my immediate world has taken on a grey scale colour, like a picture from a long time ago. Peter's home in about six weeks and classes are done in 4, exams in five. You'll notice that I listed the most important dates first.
Last weekend I had a hen party, and when I say a hen party, I mean that I had a lot of women into my home for a tasting party (spices and dips). It was a rainy afternoon and a perfect day for sipping coffee, munching and enjoying one anothers company. We laughed and they all loved my paint colours, remarking how "homey" everything felt, how warm and inviting. I was so tickled and blessed in the fact that I could have them in... that Peter has offered me his home to use as my own.
I'm not sure if you remember this, but I've linked it so you can refresh your memory. Just yesterday Alisa and I were back to the same spot, eating the same thing for lunch, chatting and laughing just as before. And he walks by. He stops at our table and says that we look familar, if we had met before because certainly he couldn't forget meeting two beautiful girls such as we. We smiled and giggled a bit, reassuring him that he hadn't forgotten us, just as we hadn't forgotten him, in fact I had thought of him only the day before, wondering how he was. He asked if he could join us, of course, we said, but that we did have to leave sooner than later to be back for class. He said a moment was better than nothing. And I've not been able to get that out of my mind. A moment was better than nothing. And he would know. He spoke again about losing his middle daughter when she was only 25. He told me again of just how much I reminded him of her and I can't seem to find the words to justify why I should deserve such an honour. That same sadness was still present in his eyes, just as it had been months ago, as I'm sure it's been there for years... as I'm certain that it will be there forever. But he understood that there were certain diseases for which there was no cure. Wars and angels, broken hearts and pockets full of illusions. Flights of grace and moments worth more than nothing. There are certain things that we shouldn't forget. And our humanity is one of them. I heard a song today and the line that stood out was I have no fear of drowning - it's this breathing that's taking all the work. And I think he understood that. When I think of him I picture him standing on a solid rock in an angry ocean with his hands above his head, shouting Oh My God into the wind and at the top of his lungs and the world standing by watching will never understand whether it is a prayer or a curse. Only he holds the answer. We are merely onlookers.
So I've been thinking about it all... all my moments of nonesense, moments of clarity, moments of joy, surprise, apathy and lack. And it occurred to me that I should be thankful to have them because sometimes that's all we have for the timebeing, the interim. I catch myself wondering what it is that's really important, what is it really that makes the world go round, what constitutes enough importance to keep putting one foot in front of the other? And then suddenly came my quiet reply.
Today was National Epitaph Day. Funny, but I couldn't get past that it really doesn't matter where they bury me because no matter what, I'll still be dead. What I would hope though would be that the life I lived would speak beyond the words carved on my headstone. That someone would see me, even years after I have gone, in the eyes and face of someone else. Now that's an epitaph - to have lived a life so rich and meaningful that you're certain, that somewhere you're still there. So for today, may you let go of the chaff and hold onto the grain that is important. Breath deeply, laugh loudly and remember that it's all, eventually, water under the bridge, the Eve of Bittersweet.
If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax; I'd limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I'm one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after the other, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had it to do over again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over again, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dance; I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.