For sadness because my oldest lovely is gone, yet looking through the trees out back, I see her face hovering in the pine branches…
Thankful that she, Eleonora, had such loving care in Delaware, even through a topsy-turvy break, six months before she died when she stopped taking her anti-depressants and because rough, loud, nuts, kookie!
Grateful that her dear friend Jo was with her at the very end, when she stopped eating for a week, and finally expired. That’s the word–wind and life left her body.
Sad that so many I love are far away on coasts and across oceans. For instance, Diane and Clare who from their front step, glimpse a creek leading to a harbor and finally to an ocean. I worry sometimes that their coast may soon be under water. And I wonder, should we wish not to live to see it, or admit that ocean rise is happening faster and faster and we must adjust and change?
Across the miles, I salute Diane in her red coat, that’s winter red, to match the berries on Carolina trees when all the leaves (except the live oaks and evergreens) are gone. And Clare with her jaunty smile.
Grateful for their friendship over the years, as they introduced me to Mepkin Abbey near Charleston, where I’ve spent several peaceful and demanding periods, writing, walking a garden labyrinth and trying to get used to being a lone woman among monks of all ages.
Grateful for Pope Francis, whose humble face and demeanor (I see him driving a little car through Roman traffic) bespeaks his care for multitudes of less fortunates who mean more to me because he is their champion. Strange twist. When we are led by selfish tyrants, we become self-centered, frightened and tyrannical!
Grateful for winter sun in the Christmas cactus lining my south window whose blossoms blare brighter than Christmas trees and provide hope for safe passage through another winter.
Grateful for the twelve “white-footed three, aka Julia, Tilly and Maggie,” even when they wake me up at 4:30 a.m., especially Tilly of the soulful green eyes who walks on my body but will never sit in my lap.
Grateful, immensely, practically grateful that pulling up the new bathroom carpet (corn-based!) on which Tilly peed more times than I could count, and replacing it with linoleum (yes it looks like tile but it ain’t), helped stop this outrage. Along with Felliway spray and diffusor. That was a siege I hope never to repeat.
Grateful for good neighbors and friends here and abroad, for work I care about and that ends each semester, and writing that continues when all else fails…
Grateful for relative good health and only occasional excesses (read chocolate, vino), for enough to keep and enough to give away, for signs that humans the world over are working to change behaviors that ruin soil, water, air, forests, that kills bees and ravages bird and mammal populations. For human action that says we are not alone here. And the longer we act as if we are, the more we ultimately damage ourselves.
Thank you friends and fellow sufferers. Happy Thanksgiving.