Spring Brings Mosquitoes, Lilacs, and a Dear One’s Passing

Although it is a warm day we are ensconced in the house, doors closed tight. Outside, clouds of mosquitoes attack any warm-blooded being that passes.  Every now and then a neighbor runs past, arms flailing in the vain attempt to fend them off.

When we dare to open a door or window, we are greeted by the sweet fragrance of lilac and lily of the valley, both of which are blooming copiously now. We’ve had a few rainy days and the high humidity readily carries the scent of blooming flowers to our welcoming noses.

Last week a much-loved family member died after a long life well lived. The prior few weeks had been a precious, spacious goodbye. We were graced to be with him during his last couple of days, and now miss him dearly.

He was a fine photographer, creating images that reflected his deep love of people,  landscape and Nature. Like many of the best photographers he was captivated by light. Now, as I  notice moments of transcendent light, I find myself imagining his pleasure at trying to capture them. As a photographer, as in most things, he was much more systematic than me, although we both managed to “catch” good photos with some consistency.

A couple of weeks ago he gave me a one of his more unusual lenses. I had intended to send him the first photos using the new gear but alas did not have time to truly explore what the lens might do. I hope he is looking over my shoulder as I process those initial images.

We held vastly differing political opinions and had deep, heated, animated discussions about the state of the world. Underneath the differences lurked much agreement, a secret I like to think brought both of us much pleasure.

I imagine our discussions (some would call them “fights”) mirrored the political conversations of a bygone era when differences became the grounds for compromises that brought policy closer to the common good. I know he longed for a return of thoughtful discussion, civility, and attention to the real needs and aspirations of the people. I guess the task of creating a culture of mutual regard now falls to us.


9 thoughts on “Spring Brings Mosquitoes, Lilacs, and a Dear One’s Passing

  1. I’m sorry to hear of your loss, Michael. I guess you will feel a continued sense of connection when you are viewing your new photographs.

  2. It seems like our aging spirits are constantly being wounded by loss. May you be comforted by the wonderful memories you have of your loved one. It seems that this loss is coinciding with your need to turn within. Every so often I retreat to lick the wounds I have incurred through my life. I had once thought that I could be free if I just dealt with the pain and made new decisions about causation and my value in the world. Seems like the emotional issues return whenever I feel emotionally or physically threatened. Not really a problem but it is a surprise. But I digress. I would like to carry some of your emotional pain for a while so your load is lighter. I wonder if the visualization of this can make it real.

    1. Hi Pat, thank you for offering to carry some of our pain. Truth be known, there is not a lot of pain, just some sadness and a great deal of gratitude. There is loss and there is a long well lived life filled with creativity and love. Maybe we should all be so blessed?

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