September 5, 2018
My cousin and I were reflecting on the fine art of being married nigh onto forty years—to our first husbands! She shared an outrageous statement she might make to get her Stubborn One moving on his health. I commended her for being feisty as ever. Then something moved me to add, “Being feisty. That’s what saves us.” Whatever I meant by that, however she heard it, she replied, “Yes. Being feisty saves us.”
A gentleman and I stood under the blistering September sun, reflecting on what needed trimming in my backyard. Heatstroke emerging as a possibility, I moved us under the shade of the myrtle grove. What a difference! Quoth he, “People say I’m crazy, but do you feel that little bit of coolness in the shade? Fall is coming!”
A lizard and I were reflecting on whether I dared to touch him and whether if I did, would he run away? I reminded him that I have been kind to many of his kin, including the very young. Also that he is my adorable darling, posed so nicely on the green of my Queen of the Night plant by the garage, where we can visit as I come and go and he supervises his domain. Our compromise: I touched the end of his tail, which he allowed, for just enough of a split second to let me know I was okay, for an alien species.
–photograph by Robert Dishman
All the above happened today. Looking back now on a Wednesday last December: It was my turn to offer the meditation at our church’s Wednesday night service. On this date, December 6, my mother would have been ninety-one. So I had mothering on my mind. My son David came to the service, as he usually does, to hear me speak. He’d been working six-day weeks, long hours, and doing his best to help prepare for the imminent birth of his daughter. As I began to speak from the pulpit, I saw him struggling with sleep. Then he succumbed. After the service, we went out for supper. As he and I were walking toward the restaurant, he said, “I’ve been reading about how a baby before it’s born can hear everything. It hears its parents’ voices so when it’s born it already knows them. Tonight in the chapel, when I heard your voice start speaking, I felt warm and safe. Almost like I was a baby again.”
–David with his mom and dad, 1982–
–David with his wife and baby, 2018–