Wednesday, September 27, 2006

In Passing

It's another beautiful day here near the nation's capital. So was yesterday, but there were clouds inside. The kids were awakened in the wee hours yesterday morning by one of those dreaded telephone calls: The Boy's father had passed away. His passing was not unexpected, but the timing was. It happened sooner than expected.

Butterfly woke us later with the sad news and the request for a lift to an appointment and then to work. It was a pre-natal appointment. As the kids look forward to adding new life to their family, an older life has slipped away. Gilles was not that old, not very much older than I. We met a few times, and I liked him. He was French and hesitant about his English, but he always tried, and I admired his effort and was rather impressed with how well he did in his second language.

As we drove Butterfly to work yesterday, I was touched by the beauty of the day. The sun sits lower in the sky now that autumn is upon us, and it bathes the landscape in a gentle and inspiring light that enriches the already golden fields and the already resplendent leaves. It's a feast to this pilgrim's eyes and spirit.

It's rather glorious, this autumn season. It does not beat with the exuberance of spring or the vigour of summer, but it is rather glorious, and because we know that winter approaches, we seem to appreciate it deeply. We inhale the crispness of its breath and drink of its artistic canvas.

I speak both of the reality of the season and of the metaphorical autumns of our lives. I have been so very pleased to be alive and able to live my little life these past few weeks. I like to think that I am almost always content, but I have been more than that recently, for I have felt deep pleasure in the taking of my breaths and the seeing of my sights. Until yesterday, there have been good tidings -- the engagement of the girls, the miraculous beginning of the life of my grandchild, and the beginning of my music lessons -- but I rather think it is more than that. I think it is the enhanced appreciation of life as my own winter draws closer. In a sense, I seem to feel more alive, for as one of Cuppa's favourite quotes says:

Death is the sugar that gives life its pizazz.
It makes life really sweet.


Today, we'll drive Butterfly to Montreal so that she can stand beside her husband and mother-in-law in these difficult hours. But I'll also feast on the joy of being alive for one more day and for whatever time The Creator will grant me.

19 comments:

Karla said...

What a stunningly beautiful and eloquent post AC. I read it twice to fully absorb and appreciate what you had to say.

-epm said...

Wow! That's some powerfully good writing, AC. Just wonderful.

My sympathies, of course, to those who feel the pain of loss.

Gina said...

Yes, so sorry for the loss.

And while I am saddened at the premise for the post, it was great reading nonetheless.

Heather said...

Sorry about the loss. Great introspective writing on your part.

sare said...

Awwwwww, man. I am sorry to hear that. My thoughts are with you all. You are right that in death we recognize how lucky we are to be here - life is precious, and often times much too short. Seize the day! With Love...

methatiam said...

amen

Ginger said...

Marvelous post. Thanks for reminding me today of that magical gift of one more day of life.

oshee said...

So well said as usual. :-)

Life is precious.

mreddie said...

Much appreciated by one facing the winter of his life as well. ec

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

I like to think of it as sundown, not winter...

"It's just all one long day" as Joplin said.

I so appreciate your eloquent but very male point of view.

Thank you for reminding me it's supposed to be fun here.

The very nice man said...

So sorry to hear the sad news. Makes you even more determined to be thankful for the gift of life every new day!
Erik

PBS said...

So sorry to hear about your, and your family's loss. But you have a great attitude. Everything and everyone else will eventually leave us but we still can have a positive attitude. (But it's so hard to remember that!)

Cathy said...

This made me teary. Lovely, lovely . . Yes, these autumn years make life's passages more poignant - the joy and the pain - they play upon us as on a violin.

Dale said...

Well said, AC, as always. Very well said.

Bonita said...

There is a reason that these are called 'the golden years'. If in good health, they are, and I share your gratitude and quiet joy. My sympathies for those who mourn this gentleman's passing.

Granny said...

Beautiful post. I'd heard the sad news from Cuppa a minute or so ago.

As I said there, my sympathy and prayers to the family.

Ann

Anonymous said...

You're right, death is a very good reminder to enjoy life. Too bad he didn't live to see this grandchild.

wthenrest said...

I am sorry for your family's loss. That was very eloquently written. Wow. From the heart.

Coll said...

A/C.. such a beautiful post. Your words have spoken it all so eloquently.

From one who is also relishing her autumn.