A friend explained that she was distracted because she heard of another death. My first thought was of how another person was going to have to go through that journey. I sighed and felt bone tired weary. I know, I know, it’s inevitable and I know every journey is different — beloved partner to acquaintance, tragic, expected, prepared for, unexpected — but it is the journey from brokenness to the Kinisuga masterpiece of a life. That is, if we are fortunate enough to recognize the journey is necessary and patient enough to make it.
The urge to grab onto a bit of melancholy is due in part to Friday’s memory of transplant day. It’s been seven years, and over this past year I’ve started looking again at the memories Facebook offers to share. I stayed away from those memories for a long time. On Saturday seven years ago, I posted that David was sitting up eating Jell-O and how glorious that simple act seemed. There has been so much work from that time to this. It feels like a mere girl wrote those words not the woman who was looking forward to her 30th wedding anniversary.
Trader Joe’s was selling bunches of tightly close daffodils for a dollar. I could buy 30 or 40 or 50 Daffodils and watch them slowly open, totally aping the good Wisconsin spring which begins at a snail’s pace and then runs down the season’s hill of bulb blooming at breakneck speed. And today, there is wind and cold. It is sunny and bright, no clouds. The tree outside my bedroom window has the tiniest of seeds of growth. A harbinger of spring.
The other day before another light snow I noticed snowdrops coming up, not blooming yet but poking through. Another sign of spring. Many years ago when we first moved to Bloomington Indiana from Brooklyn New York, and Cheshire was a tiny four-year-old, we had a tiny woods close to the condo we lived in.
Cheshire had only lived where woods were a rare treat and that first spring, we walked through the woods searching for “signs of spring.” Cheshire learned about things coming up from the ground, and little leaf buds on trees, even moss turning greener. I can hear her clear and sweet voice, announcing, ‘mommy mommy, look, it’s a sign of spring,’ as if she was the first person to discover such things.
I prepared dinner for the first time last Saturday evening. Not exactly from scratch and not without help. Frozen roasted potatoes from Trader Joe’s. Brussels sprouts that were washed, cut and trimmed in a package that I could add oil and herbs to before dumping on a cookie sheet to roast. Calf’s liver whose sealed plastic packets Julia had to cut open for before it went into pan sautéed with onions that were precut by a friend the day before. It was a simple dinner requiring a good deal more planning than usual. Once again I was grateful for all the home cooked meals that have been brought to my door, grateful that Julia is growing into a good home helper and also grateful that I can acknowledge the patience I need to continue growing for at least another month.
Not that I am without a bit of envy seeping into the mix. A friend keeps his Facebook page up-to-date by posting cooking and travel pictures. Good food and alluring destinations. I have a love hate relationship with those updates. I want to cook and travel. Now! When I lived in the East Village, and was just beginning to consider leaving theater, I used to say that I envied scholars and pregnant women. Noting for the record that eventually I got to be both, I wait for cooking and traveling to come around again.