Once again it’s April . . . once again the earth is greening and is filled with flowers, and once again I’m thinking about death. After a week of daily visits to town, taking my dad to various doctors and being immersed in emotional turmoil and drama, I came home to the island yesterday evening to see that the island had greened. The spindly alders have leafed out, and so have the salmonberry and thimbleberry bushes that line the island roadways. Tulips are following the daffodils. Red-flowering currant offers its shades of pale pink to bright magenta. Dying and being born, it’s all part of the same circle.
My dad is getting close to passing, although we don’t know if it’s days, weeks or possibly even months. But he is weak and confused. I have cancelled my trip to New York and my son has made plans to fly out here from Maine. Yesterday we worked on his obituary; he dictated and I typed. And cried.
Working in the garden centers me and gives me peace. Walking the beaches and the woods does too. I just need to let this sacred island center me and give me strength for the next phase of “midwifing death.”
There’s a place for humor in all this, too. Craig forgot that we had a dinner date at home last night and went out to eat with friends. When he remembered, he thought bringing home flowers might be a good way to apologize. (Flowers from a repentant husband — always a wise choice!) So he walked in with a lovely pot of . . . Easter lilies. I started laughing, to his confusion. When I pointed out to him that he had brought me a symbol of death and resurrection (not love and romance), he got a befuddled look on his face and said, “I just thought they were pretty!”
But to me, it was another sign. April, Easter lilies, death, rebirth. Blessed be.