Twixt the coasts... and all else... between every morning and every night, there is so much.
Last Summer, we made a journey, both difficult and rewarding...
First to the Southernmost area of the West Coast, then to San Juan Capistrano, up the PCH, to my former home, North of Los Angeles, for my Brother's funeral. Each stop, day, moment, is etched in my mind in a different mood, light, hue...
Then the Journey both ended and continued, as we made an escape of sorts, to a last minute MUCH NEEDED vacation, just the four of us, to a place I'd always longed to go; the Pacific Northwest.
We flew into Portland, and explored our way in and around the area, over bridges, across state lines and back again, over and to and UNDER and from various bodies of water, between Volcanic Snow-topped mountains, through microclimates too close together to be possible. I am still under enchantment. Long to go back. To be both comforted by family, refreshed by waterfalls
We ate at amazing restaurants, stayed in last minute, book as you drive hotels.
The images are the Columbia River Gorge. I keep the link to the US Forest Service Air Quality Images, which update the above image every 15 minutes, on my computer at all times the past several months. It gives me much needed pause, even refreshment. The one at the bottom should refresh itself for you, too.
Between grief and renewal, nostalgia and refreshment, comfort and newness, East and West, South and North, I found so much. Among my regrets-- that there is never enough time.
I wish I could have more time, with my brother, with all loved ones... I wish I could have done more on that trip... made more connections, one in particular, strengthened others.
But I trust. That hearts are where they are best supposed to be whenever possible, even if bodies, schedules aren't. It's all I can do at this point. Because, There Is Never Enough Time. Not Ever. But each moment is precious. Our value of moments and each other transcends time and space.
I'm counting on it.
XO XO My Dear Ones.
(On a lighter note, my kids wish we hadn't missed ComicCon by mere hours...! : P Laugh when you can, whenever you can. Better Laughter than tears!)
March. I am beginning to anticipate a thaw. Early mornings the earth, old unbeliever, is still crusted with frost where the moles have nosed up their cold castings, and the ground cover in shadow under the cedars hasn't softened for months, fogs layering their slow, complicated ice around foliage and stem night by night,
but as the light lengthens, preacher of good news, evangelizing leaves and branches, his large gestures beckon green out of gray. Pinpricks of coral bursting from the cotoneasters. A single bee finding the white heather. Eager lemon-yellow aconites glowing, low to the ground like little uplifted faces. A crocus shooting up a purple hand here, there, as I stand on my doorstep, my own face drinking in heat and light like a bud welcoming resurrection, and my hand up, too, ready to sign on for conversion.
Today it snowed-- just minute flurries. And now the sun is out. Punxsetawney Phil declared on the second of February, "SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER!" Or so he was interpreted. Maybe he just doesn't like crowds. Or cold. Or bright light just after waking. I know the feeling. But I am now more than a little skeptical about this prediction...
The ants are back. They began in the kitchen over a week ago, now. Not just one lone ant on a warm day, with none to follow. We have had ant invasions.
When the hyacinth buds began clearing ground level weeks before, I was worried. At first. That the frost would get them, or more likely, hard ice... Frost they've handled. And then, the crocuses sprang forth like a turkish carpet in one yard. Some could say a fluke, but then again, they have been going strong for over a week and have been joined by daffodils, forsythia. Up north from here, where spring is oft delayed, even by only a few days or weeks, I witnessed snow drops quite early, aconites, and now, this week, fruit trees in bloom! We further South have not yet had our trees begin to bloom ! Though it's been almost a week since, arriving home one morning, the sun shining brightly on our burgundy front door, I spied another familiar sight and portent of warmer weather-- the acid green yellow of pollen velveting the enamel paint.
It's still quite chilly some days, especially some nights, dipping well below freezing.
But I choose to believe.
SPRING HAS SPRUNG.
May all our hearts begin the thaw they need... our faces turned toward the sun, our feet still in wool socks and boots to brave any weather that may yet come our way!
My Brother passed away in the night last night, after a very private battle with cancer. He refused conventional treatment for quite some time, and forbade his wife disclosing any of the struggles he was going through. Wednesday, she finally called a family member, as he'd been taken to the hospital by ambulance the previous Friday, but was not doing at all well. The sisters heard of this by Wednesday night. From then until Thursday night, from thousands of miles away, we from our homes, many hundreds of miles from each other, attempted to reach him by phone. Through sleeping eating resting and strong pain meds, it was a desperate tiptoe business to strive for what would turn out to be a final talk with him. I am, among many many other things, grateful for that talk, however brief, with my brother. While we had very little notice, some people have none. Thursday while in Trader Joe's this card jumped out at me... spoke to me. Of my brother. Of his mindset. Of his journey.Of his soul. Of his destiny.
Embrace those you love. Don't be distracted by anything. Strive for Peace, that which comes from God, which originates in the heart and nourishes the soul. Or is it t'other way 'round. No matter... the circle cannot be broken, is the same thing, pervasive, healing and undeniable.