Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Swan Song Bloom

Moments away from midnight at the end of the winter solstice 2010.  One year ago today I began this blog and my consistency has obviously wavered - no entry since before Halloween! 

It has been a year of deep grief and loss - friends dying, relationships dying, losing faith at times, losing my way and then finding my way back. Loss came with gifts...a deepening of some relationships as I was reaching out for support while struggling with others; a reminder that every moment is precious as I said goodbye to friends whose moments were cut so short; the birth of a new kind of relationship with my mother-in-law as her essence changed with the onset of Alzheimer's.  My concept of how life will be never matches the way it plays out and it's usually much richer than my vision.

I finally pulled a dead agave (century plant) out of a bed in our front yard yesterday.  It never did get enough sun there and it couldn't thrive in the shade.  Still, it had withered and died long before I finally had the courage to start tugging to remove it.  Chris is a bigger fan of those than I am and I know he wanted to keep it, so I resisted the "urge to purge" the minute it showed signs of stress.  By the time I gingerly pulled at it this week the thing offered itself to me with an almost audible sigh of relief.  Thank you - please let me move on.  I don't belong here anymore.  Each spiny "leaf" fell into my gloved hands and allowed me to toss it into the brown recycling bag.  Before I knew it there was a new space and the other succulents around it visibly perked up, allowed to shine again.  

In our back yard, on the other hand, is an agave that gets plenty of sun and threw up its one and only flower this past few months.  Century plants only bloom once and then they die, but their bloom is impressive and grand.  25 feet of proud stalk with a cluster of flowers sitting at the top like the angel on the Christmas tree.  Interesting how the same plant that didn't get what it really needed just faded away.  The one that was lucky enough to get the light and space it craved went out with a graceful and expansive dance.

The friends I lost this year passed with their spirits strong and straight and their faith and love blooming until the last minute.  I'm proud and inspired to have known them and will honor their memory by making sure I create the light and space I need in my life to keep reaching high.  And when it's time to move on I hope that someone recognizes the moment and gently lifts me... up and away.