I didn’t know I could feel that way. That reckless abandon. That absolute peace. It felt like I was in a small bubble, and I knew it would pop at any moment, but I didn’t want to think of that until it happened.
I just wanted to enjoy the now most thoroughly.
We walked on the mountain for hours every morning, as the sun climbed higher and higher in the sky. I could feel its malignant beam on my back, scorching through my clothes, making my skin prickle uncomfortably before it broke down and wept rivers of sweat. My feet were sore by the end of the day.
We ate whatever we could get our hands on. Pineapples chopped, mangoes until the orange stickiness dribbled down our chins and under our shirts. Strawberries by the bowlful. Fruit in abundance.
We jumped in the lake straight after, with all our clothes on. You swore loudly because the water was deceivingly cold, and we glanced back at our parents, our relief palpable when we saw them laughing on the lake’s edge, oblivious to our transgression.
We cycled on old rusty bikes found in the garage, the wheels patched and pumped, the chains oiled
Into the night I move in restless sleep
moon filters in to whisper sweet words on dreaming ears
and I feel you beside me
four years gone, you still speak.
I rise and move through darkened halls
and slip beyond into the moon lit yard,
fireflies hover in jungle gardens
and I know you’ve come once more.
The streak moves through the midnight skies
and I reach out a hand to touch the memory…
Note from Louise: I wrote this after my beloved grandfather passed away last year. He had a high-grade glioma (brain tumour) and died peacefully at home after being nursed by my mum for several weeks. After writing about him a little yesterday, I wanted to share.
by Louise at Minimal Belle
I cleaned out my grandparents’ garage today,
to make room
for my mother’s things–
two double beds, bluish-black sofas,
antique dresser units,
all of the cumbersome kitchen essentials.
I tried to be ruthless, without throwing away anything of importance.
But is an old red petrol can not important,
given the circumstances?
Seven months ago he left,
never seeing the temperate last few days
His navy-handled shears still hang on the wall,
beside the old club cricket bat
and the Christmas wreath that my mother
crafted from his coffin flowers.
The garage was cold and blowing dust
this afternoon, on account of
the last gasps of the Atlantic storm.
Life and death cannot, by wishing,
nor by the desperate wrenching
of the galaxies, be separated.
They are strangers inhabiting the same house…
The once-gleaming fountain in the middle of the yellowed lawn
is grey and stained. The garden is not large,
but she doesn’t walk that far anymore. The shallow steps are too much to manage.
In the rusted rainwater of his fountain there are brown leaves, curled
like arthritic fingers or tiny, sunken pirate ships
in a long-abandoned game….
This summer has been a busy one and finally it’s time for a break. I’m headed to the high desert of western Colorado to visit the folks, help with chores, go over paperwork with my dad, and talk talk and talk with my mom who is blind and loves to fill her hours with visiting. We’ll spend several days organizing stuff, a favorite pastime for both of them.
The last time I was there, I helped pack up the house for an imminent move to Oregon to be closer to family (me), and then my parents wouldn’t move because they didn’t want to uproot the cats. My dad will want to do something adventurous like driving out into the backcountry and getting the car stuck in a gully. And I’ll probably clean the refrigerator, among other things.
The folks don’t have WiFi, and in their little town there aren’t any cafes where I can hang out for hours and blog, so I’m going to be incommunicado for a couple weeks. It’s an opportunity to focus on my parents, a daughterly must especially now that they’ve reached their mid-eighties and health concerns intensify. I plan to write but will limit my fantasy forays to early mornings before they’re up, nap times, and after they’ve gone to bed. It’s all good, all part of life.
I don’t plan to post and won’t be able to visit blogland to peruse your wonderful posts or respond to random likes, comments, and follows. I’ll catch up when I return to the best of my ability.
Have a lovely couple weeks. Enjoy the beautiful changing of the seasons. Make time for the ones you love. “See” you when I get back.