July 10, 2002: This has been a strange week. I
have been in a strange mood. Even the weather has been strange. We received
twelve inches of rain over a three-day period, something that seldom happens
here, especially in July! Our pond is overflowing, the fairy brook is flowing
and the creek is flowing—not roaring, but flowing nicely. The ground is boggy
and the hill will seep water into our driveway for weeks. We got the kind of
rain we needed, a gentle one with occasional heavy showers so there was not so
much fast run-off that is so eroding to the land and creek banks.
It took a lot of courage to put the replay of our wedding up in the last Lair Log entry. I got a lot of favorable feedback from it, but it is difficult to make oneself that vulnerable even to friends and family. I have been reaching out to others so constantly these last two weeks, and that leaves me feeling quite vulnerable and exposed and uncomfortable. And here I am exposing myself again in this entry. I wonder why I do this.
A milestone college reunion is coming up in October and
I was trying to track down some old friends with whom I have lost touch to see
if they plan to go, in an effort to decide whether I will go. Those I contacted
were very friendly, but I am nonplussed when some people I ran around with on a
daily basis for four years have trouble remembering who I am at first. Not
because I consider myself so memorable, but because I remember them so
clearly even though a lot of years have gone by. A few years ago I located one
of my former room mates whom I particularly enjoyed and my call was treated with
suspicion at first, sort of a “why are you calling me?” attitude. After we
talked a bit she relaxed and we had an enjoyable conversation. Yet her response
puzzled me. I have such an interest in people, and to an extent, when I give my
heart in friendship it stays given. But when I run into that kind of resistance,
I wonder again, why do I do this? Perhaps I am disheartened and grieving, or
perhaps I am simply tired and tempted to shut all this down. I will have to give
it some thought.
My mood started when we got the sad news that one of our very dear friends
and classmates, Jimmy Rayburn had died on June 26th. By “we” I
mean our high school class members. We had not known he was so sick and his
death was a shock to us. Jimmy was in the innermost circle and had charisma that
made him very well liked in school and throughout the years. We are going to
miss him so much. Several of us got in touch with each other from our class,
just to reaffirm how much we mean to each other and to share our mourning. We
have lost several of our female class members and it hurt so badly. This is the
first close male member of the class we have lost. We knew it would hurt but
were not prepared for it to hurt all of us so deeply. It also makes us
feel more at risk to our age. We have an all-school reunion coming in October
and many of us are planning to attend. These reunions are always well attended,
but now it seems even more important to get together once again.
As soon as the land dries a bit and I can walk again in
the wildflower area off the porch, I will perform a little ceremony in which I
scatter wildflower seeds in celebration of Jimmy’s life, and record it in our
“Celebrations of Life” book as is our tradition here at The Lair. Then when
the flowers are thriving, I can look out over them and remember our times with
Jimmy. That brings a tiny measure of peace. So much of my heart is in that
wildflower patch, with loved ones and friends now gone, and memories.
I was going through some old pictures looking for one to
use for my college memory book that the college puts together for the reunion
class and I ran across a picture of one of my cousins seated on his helmet in
the middle of Austria somewhere during World War II. He had taken time to send
it to me (I was just a kid) with a sweet note while he was off fighting. Another
was of his brother, a most precious favorite of mine, also in service, who died
in India while we were waiting for his return after the War was over. Since the
4th of July was close, this brought thoughts of gratitude to all who
have fought and sacrificed through the years so that we can be free, and such
anger that such a cowardly enemy threatens all this again. My heart weeps
because the killing never stops.
Moving to happier subjects, we have a new baby at The Lair; another baby gold fish in the sugar kettle fountain. I was so surprised to see it. The original fish are getting quite large. We had four originally, three white or white and gold, and one gold. Now we have three gold and the three white ones.
I have been trying to get a picture of the raccoon
that comes up every evening trying to get to the cat food before I remember to
pick it up. Sally messed one good one up by running up to the door and barking
at him and this afternoon I missed a great shot by not having my camera out and
turned on when he came by and drank out of the fountain. I’ll get him yet. Birds
are everywhere in the trees. No luck whatsoever with the fruit and butterfly
feeder. We aren’t seeing many butterflies at all and the fruit was merely
feeding the grasshoppers so I took it all in and will try with the feeder again
in the fall.
Two years ago I was at Hickory Hill Herbs in town and saw an Egyptian Lotus blooming in their water garden. I had never seen one before and I was much impressed with its beauty. I did not have my camera with me, but the picture in my heart remained hauntingly lovely. This year I asked Paula to call me when it bloomed, and she did. The flowers are open in the mornings and closed in the afternoons. (Hmmm. In reference to paragraphs two and three above, maybe it is time for me to close down some of my openness at this stage of life.) No wonder they were such a decorative item in Egyptian art! Here are some of the pictures.
Again, I think these are great meditation subjects and good visual prompts for writing in a journal.
Last revised: November 26, 2010