Our local part of the Northeast was hit fairly hard by the two snowstorms of the last 3 days. The good thing about 7 degrees is that it makes 17 degrees feel balmy; 17 happily being the temperature mid-day yesterday at dog walking time. The sun had emerged, and two days of many feet tromping had made the trails in the open field and the tree lined woods passable.
The walk began with 5 dogs giving a pack greeting to mine: Their 3 yellow labs and 2 feisty Boston terriers to my single black. But after this melee, the walk was encased in silence. It was wonderful to wend our way along the river and understory, and at one point I glanced behind me, easily imaging, if not actually sensing, both my parents standing there cheering me on in this beautiful place. “Clean grief,” I said outloud to myself as the tears that have often eluded me these last few weeks came unbidden. I looked to see if anyone would appear to wonder what on earth (or, perhaps, “What in heaven’s name?” !) had come over me, but no; the dog and I were alone; all the beauty and stillness was ours.
Beauty was the way my “yak tracks” gripped the snow; how the unabashed, unafraid chickadee sat in the conifer with his seed; the glint of snow in the treetops above; the next vast, smooth ice encrusted field with nary a track of any animal or person upon it. AT that moment, it seemed to me grief was exactly as clean, as beautiful as this. Hard, but good; sad, but peaceful ; heavy with the weight of love but directed to go forward with the push of real gratitude.
In fleeting moments such as these I wonder at all that has happened around my mother’s passing. The whole bundle of it seems hard to get my arms around, and it can feel far away from me one second and then right beside me the next moment. But I don’t think I should worry if I glance up and see her, or she and my father standing there cheering me on or assuring me she is well, they are well, or that all things are well. These moments require a different kind of seeing, and the eyes of the soul to perceive.