It’s August, and I start my days on the back porch with a cup of coffee. It’s quiet in the early morning; the only sound is of cicadas and birds singing. I love listening to them. I love summer. In the last few days, though, I’ve noticed a subtle change in the air. Fall is coming and I can feel it. Crickets rule the night, a sure sign of the end of summer, and I feel a little melancholy.
My husband Bill passed six years ago this week. I felt it this year, more than usual. His sister passed in a year ago in July. I miss them.
The earth’s axle is tilting the Northern Hemisphere away from the sun, and I’m not looking forward to staring winter in the face. I thought I’d be in Sedona by now, where winter is gentler and bathed in sunlight, where snow on red rocks looks like powdered sugar. I keep my house shipshape, whether I feel like it or not. Realtors bring people through again and again. I’m living in a fish bowl, but no buyer has shown up. As I said, I’m feeling a little melancholy, and I know why. It’s not because summer is ending. It’s not because I miss Bill. It’s not because I can’t move out of the house we lived in together. It’s because I am not living in the Now. I am not, as Eckhart Tolle says, “saying yes to what is.” I am letting the past and the future rob me of whatever joy there is in today. The thing is, I know better. I just can’t seem to snap out of it.
So tonight, as I was writing this, I decided to forgive myself for not being present. And a miracle happened. I became immediately present. This small act of kindness toward my own soul came with a reward: Gratitude. I remembered the parents I met two Sundays ago, when I signed books at the Arlington Metaphysical Chapel, parents who had lost their children, the father with tears in his eyes who told me his son’s name, and how I wrote In memory of Matt, in his copy. I remembered how my daughter Michaela and my granddaughter Elenni came all the way from New York to be with me, how my daughter Niki brought her friends to meet me. I remembered the notes of love and pride from my daughter Debbie and granddaughter Celine who live in California. Sean, my stepson, Shari, my daughter-in-law, and her daughters Maggie, Katie, and Abigail came to be with me – Bill’s children and grandchildren. I remembered seeing dear friends I hadn’t seen for a long time. I was surrounded by love.
And I remembered that as the earth’s axle tilts my part of the world away from the sun, it tilts those in the other half of the world toward it. The Southern Hemisphere is heading into spring and summer, and I am headed into fall and winter. And it is all right. We will revolve around the same sun, and we will go around it again, and again, and again, sometimes tilting toward it, sometimes tilting away from it. And it will be all right.
Finally, I end this day with another gift. Instead of going out for the night as he usually does around this time, Dorian has curled up in the chair by my desk, to keep me company. It is possible that he dreams of winter in a whole new light.
Get The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney at http://www.Amazon.com