Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The State of Nutmeg

“It's on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly.” – Claude Monet

Ten days ago I drove away from my “little yellow house,” within walking distance of the shoreline of Lake Michigan, in the midst of the last snowstorm of the season. I drove back through time and to a place of remembrance since we were all hitting the one year mark since my brother’s suicide. In that way, I found the last snowstorm to be a real comfort, added warmth and cushion between that date and me (us all).

This year too, the date fell on a Sunday, Leap Year having been involved in this turn of affairs, and so we were going to be forced to leap ahead an hour to greet that moment of loss to save some daylight time.


Everyone knows that when someone dies, those left behind “live for” and live on, feed off of, and could not survive without those, “This time last year…” start offs. You have 365 possible days of thought or happenstance where that person is still alive. You have 365, “This time last years…” where that person isn’t dead, hours and hours and hours and hours of them. Being asked to jump ahead, even one minute to that one-year anniversary where you won’t have these goodie bits left is painful. You’d like that one hour back, you’d love it if …

So, yeah, I was pretty wrapped up in my snow security blanket while it lasted, this year especially, this heavy grieving year, since my brother was not my only loss.

I also did not fail to miss the beauty and/or the irony of how for Snow’s last stand, it clung icily to each branch and bud, and then melted like tears throughout the day melting well before Sunday the 11th, and the anniversary of my brother’s death.

As the trees shook loose their lacy shawls, and every last tear fell to the ground, they stood tall. It was all about the business of reaching towards the sky for ultimate bud-hood and blossom-ness. Healing, as it were, that’s what we were supposed to be doing too. We were to resume a level of composure, straighten up and not die trying, feed our souls and pump up our slouchy and broken hearts, stop holding our breath, breathe in his stead.

I don’t have it all figured out yet, this last visit “back towards home” and away from “my little yellow house,” not yet anyway. -And not all of my visit home was related to the memorial brunch we had in honor of my brother. There was much else going on, as well, which is what makes it hard to get it all into words instead of a smear of emotions, complicated by the fact that I also caught a virus and was ill during that time. So I’m deciphering the pieces and parts of it all, how much of it was real, how much of it was surreal and how much of it was just the cough syrup.

Driving back home today, however, the meandering back road route that I prefer, it was obvious that the world around me had changed a great deal in just ten short days. Things had gone from sheer white, floor to ceiling, to what can only be described as the State of Nutmeg.

And no, I didn’t drink an entire bottle of cough syrup prior to the drive, out of a little cup that said “drink me,” and then drive the truck down a little rabbit hole. Things were really the color of nutmeg. Nutmeg in surround sound.

And no I wasn’t smoking weed either!

We’ve had a series of warm days since the weekend, with a wee bit of moisture yesterday, and today lots and lots of sun again. Soon, the grasslands and tree lines are going to give notice of this, but right now, it’s all nutmeg!

More warm temps and sun are expected the rest of this week, so I suspect a number of other spicy colors will pop from the green category, splashes of yellow, little bits of purple along the edges.

As I approached my own front yard, after the hour-long drive, it too was decidedly in the nutmeg state. The yard was littered with dry honey locust leaves, but on closer inspection, tulips were two inches through the earth on this side to say, “Hello, look where we are now, compared to then,” as well as the Tiger Lilies, and a few other bits of green peeking out to say hello, names withheld at the moment. (Hope to see more of them tomorrow, so I can give them proper introduction.)

All of this gave me great pause, and if that’s the one thing I’ve learned how to do this year, while not only getting a million things done, I've also learned the art of great pause.

This afternoon, I sat outside for a considerable amount of time, going through ten days' worth of mail, listening to the neighborhood sounds, drinking my tea. The dogs sniffed the entire yard and then re-sniffed and potty’d around the trees a few times before relaxing at my feet. I let the mail drop and glanced about the yard imagining what other surprises were to come, as well as what I’d put my mind and heart to in the coming weeks.

There is no such thing as time, only change. I can’t quite tell what’s healed as of yet, or if what’s healed is healed in any kind of “for sure” way, but I can see where the new growth is, and that’s a start. I can dig deeper without hurting myself …

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