Wednesday, December 8, 2010
At first, I thought I was holding grief’s hand, that I was taking grief out for a late morning walk, that we needed to get some fresh air together. Nearly every walk I’ve taken, during this year of walking, has been on the park’s west side. I’m not sure why. It’s a bit less dark over there. And since I walk so much alone, that seemed to matter. Right now, the darkness is where I want to be.
Shortly after leaving the pine needle covered parking lot, with a let’s get going step, I felt a hand at my chest making that international symbol for STOP! It hadn’t taken grief long to assert dominance, to slow me down.
Wendell Berry has a poem, The Peace of Wild Things, which I love. One part says,
“I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
Those words keep returning to my mind like the tide. Roy’s been sick nearly a year now. My own father was very ill. There has been a lot of grief already. It was yesterday that I realized I’ve not been taxing my life with grief in the wings. There’s grief and then there’s more grief. And at times, we have to live with it the best we can.
Some days grief is a too-heavy suitcase. On other days it’s a pebble in my shoe. Often, when closest to my surface, it’s a damp face. It can make me say silly things because I’m distracted. Like yesterday when I saw Shannon at Trader Joe’s and we hugged and kissed. “Oh, Shannon, I left ice cream on your cheek.” It took her looking at me funny to realize I said ice cream instead of lipstick.
Yesterday, grief held my hand. It led me on my walk. It slowed me down. It showed me beauty along the path that I feel blessed and lucky to have seen like the reddest fallen leaf and the cluster of white berries.
Posted by Patrice Vecchione at 6:23 AM