Saturday, June 02, 2007

letting go

AS I write, I'm staring at the peonies in the glass vase in front of me. I've been trying to extend their lives, it's been a week, they're on their last breath but I'm not ready to let them go.... yet! It will be another year before I see them again. What a long year it is going to be. Their appearance is so brief, I can only enjoy their company for so brief a moment.
I remember hiking in one of the ski resorts in Utah one year. A friend and I would go up the ski runs in summer and hike up them. The whole mountain side would be filled with wild flowers. We'd bring along walking sticks to frighten away any rattlers that might be hiding in the tall grass. It was lovely. We'd hike most weekends till the end of summer and early fall.
I remember one fall morning, my friend couldn't make it, so I went alone. The trees had already turned colors and they were dropping their leaves. The grass and flowers had all died and brown dirt was showing through. Everything was brown and bleak. I thought, 'what a dreadful sight'. Then it occurred to me, not so..... I remember the beautiful flowers all over the mountain side, memories of a beautiful summer past. I mused to myself, pretty soon the snow will start falling and bury everything except the fir trees and the bare cottonwoods. I can almost hear the revelry of skiers as they barrow down these same mountain side on their skis or snowboards. I would be one of them, each one of us looking forward excitedly to freshly fallen snow - 'powder' we call it. I remember those glorious 'powder' days when we ski on freshly fallen snow. I remember my own glee, my unreserved squealing as I echo the same joy felt by kids on their snow boards. There was no age difference, we were together in the spirit of the moment.
As I look again at the stark landscape, I began to think, it is a beautiful sight by the mere fact of memories of summer and the anticipation of winter and winter's revelry.
I will have the peonies for a few more days, then they will be a memory. I'll move on to other things and I'll look forward to seeing them again.
Emerson said, 'we cannot part with our friends. We cannot let our angels go. We do not see that they only go out that archangels may come in.' We must let the good go so that the great may come in.


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