Whoa! I open my back door……and am nearly brought to my knees. The beauty. The colour: brilliant scarlet of the medium-sized Japanese Maple, golden-yellow of the vine growing all over the back fence, and deep green of the bushes silently standing guard against the wooden walls. Magnificent. Stunning. Breath taking.
I think, how could I ever possibly leave this beautiful, peaceful, holy space Clo created the last years of her life. How can I possibly let it go into the hands of someone else, others who will not KNOW? Not have known Clo, not know me and what makes me shiver with gratitude and hug tight memories when I gaze out my back door? How can I walk away from ………this……
I don’t know.
But I am going to.
I have tears stinging and I am blinking so I can see. I take a deep breath. I want to remember, but I forget so much. 1992 we bought a house that very much needed to be made into a home. Together we did that. I tugged and pulled and dragged huge black plastic bags of lath and plaster that Clo literally tore down with her bare hands and a hammer. I helped pick out new hard wood flooring and years later when on my own I co created a glorious new kitchen for the next owners to enjoy.
Clo dug deep holes in the ground when the temperature was 35 degrees celsius + humidity. She started the vine from a tiny baby and coaxed it year after year to climb, climb, climb all over the wooden fence. She thrived with the plants and the earth, the colourful quilt she stitched and planted and loved and prayed over in our back yard.
And I will leave all that and more to start another life without her. Memories linger, but will fade even faster when out of the space we shared. Clo lives in Canada, her ashes are buried in Quebec. I will be living in the United States and my ashes will remain in Michigan. This is probably my last autumn in Canada. I leave beauty, peace, love, hope, dreams, tears, hurt, fear, joy, growth, and much more. I take all of that with me as well. And I create that and more as I live out the last few decades of my life.
Who am I today and who will I be in a year or two or three? No one knows those answers for sure. We all have some ideas. We think we know some of what the future will bring. But not the whole of it.
That is the wonder and the mystery: what will next year, and the next and the next several bring? I will be who I am now and more. I will be Nancy Ross who once was Nancy and Clo. And I will remember. And I will forget. And that is just fine. Because we do that all the time in this time/space we call life. We create, we celebrate, we grieve, and we create some more, never ever forgetting the beauty of it all, the gift we have been given to have this precious life, and the wonders we all hold dear inside of us that no one else will ever know, or see, or even understand.
Blessings dear ones. Enjoy the beauty of this especially colourful autumn