There was an alone never felt before.
The night giving way to the morning.
I watched the mist dance.
Skin crawling from a day’s long.
As I sat paralyzed thinking every story was true.
Struck four and I heard a song.
Like something needed me in the flesh.
To watch them dance and sing.
Share spirits for a spirit.
Only I would ever see.
That night they all went free.
I awoke and the sun was shining.
I thought of you this morning while walking to work, there was something about the air, I smiled. It made me recall some random end-of-summer day, much like today. You were steaming up the harbor, towards home, from a day of cod fishing. I first spotted you on the horizon while you were rounding the point, just there by the lighthouse. As I rushed down the lane, I could hear the sound of engine puttering growing louder. There were seagulls squawking and hanging about. Like a feathery cloud, they gave chase, each desperately seeking lunch from the fish scraps that were being thrown from your hands.
A final leap, I was there, at the wharf, to greet your return. I remember how the land-wash had this tinge of salt and the watery shoreline was like looking at glass. My reflection momentarily stared back, glistened in the hot morning sun and slowly distorted as your red and yellow punt made its approach. I was nine-ish, playing some made-up game while flicking sea snails back into the ocean, starting their long journey all over again…boyish thrills. As I stood there awaiting your accent, you handed me a rope to tether the boat long enough for the daily catch to be thrown ashore. It wasn’t a good knot, good enough, I wasn’t very good at that. You’d always finish the job anyway, just before mooring the dory to her rightful place once again, anchored just far enough, wading adrift until next time. Oh, how I remember the sun so bright, high in the sky, early that morn, just like today…when I thought of you.
Miss you Pop.
Today there was news that kind of put me off, shook me as soon as read the text from my mother early this morning. Late last night my step-cousin passed away, she had battled diabetes for most of her life and sadly, that battle is now over. I won’t really go into it any further than that from a personal standpoint for respect to her and her family but I will talk a bit about the thoughts that I had since hearing the news.
I don’t know really, mortality rears its ugly head every now and again, news like that slaps you right in the face. As I get older these situations unfortunately happen more often than I’d like, people getting hurt, people getting old, people getting sick, and people dying. It’s all a part of the circle, I get that, we all get it, but it still sucks. Losing someone is probably the worst thing that I have ever had to process in my life and something that for the longest time I didn’t think that I would ever experience. The young and naive Ash thought people close to me would never die. I remember my grandmother, as she rocked in her chair with her fist to her chin would sometimes talk about that day, where I would quickly reply with “go on mother, I will die before you, you have long life to go yet, don’t be foolish”. Morbid conversation yes, but it was true, it is a part of life and at that time she was in a different chapter of hers but who wants to hear that when you’re staring at the person who has always been your rock?
This girl was a classmate of mine, her husband is someone that I played high school sports with, and although it’s been years since we have seen each other, I remember them fondly. I thought about them a lot this morning and how hard it must be for the family to process this loss, she was way too young and my heart goes out to them. I turned forty this past April and I live a relatively healthy life, I have gotten by pretty unscathed up to this point and at this very moment I’m feeling pretty grateful for that.
Life is short, yeah, yeah…we hear that all the time but how often do with let that sink in? How often do we take inventory of where we are in life when it comes to our health or even just in general? There are some things that we won’t be able to fix, there will be things that will happen that only fate can determine but the one thing we have control over is being thankful that even today we’ve been given that one extra flip of the calendar.
Today’s news gave me goosebumps, made me take a moment not only to show my condolences for a past friend of mine but also to make me realize that no matter what chaos life throws at me and no matter how bad my day is going I need to be thankful that I get to spend it here with the people that I love and the people that love me right back.