Silver Lake, CA, late August, 2016.
In the wisdom years, I am so often grateful for those moments, those rich times that have certainly been part of life all along, but which I was too busy to notice in my busy, important life. What joys I have missed. Now, I witness the changing light of the days, I see the grass bend slightly to mark a passing breeze, I watch our local towhee dance only a few feet from me, watching, and I see the red streak of light over San Francisco Bay as the sun sets, a line of fire across the sky for only a few moments.
Since my beloved and I have returned from a few days in the Eastern Sierra, I have seen a few yellow leaves flying on the branches of my other witness to the changing seasons, the birch tree I love, outside my front window.
Just about 9 PM the other night, the phone rang in the kitchen. I remarked to my husband, who, along with me, was already in bed, reading, that our phone rings so seldom. I did not register the number of the caller, but when I answered, the frantic voice of a life long friend spoke to me. I responded to something in her clear, commanding voice, by asking: “is something wrong?”
Her husband had spent Labor Day in the hospital, including an MRI that returned with the news that he has a fast-growing cancer, a tumor in his brain. When the short call was over – what can be said, after all? – I leaned over, bare feet on the kitchen floor, and cried. Then, I told my husband. I placed the book I had been reading on the floor next to the bed, turned over, and tried to pray.
How do I pray at such a time? What do I ask? How do I do this? I ask you, but I expect you do not know the answer, either. There is nothing to do, nothing to say, nothing except to be a witness to this, also. How big is God? I thought, my thoughts guarding me from my feelings as I lay in bed. Thoughts will not guard me forever, though.
My prayers, my most heart felt prayers are with my friends, today. I don’t know how to pray, so I expect my spirit, our spirit – yours and mine – will know.
Life, after all, brings these true and bliss-filled moments of beauty, and pain.