For those that follow this blog close enough to be left hanging if we don't fill you in on something (I imagine that is a very few of you!), today was the other "partial family retreat day" referred to earlier. For once we did not have a very clearly thought out plan ahead of time - in part due to the fact that we watched Nora's memorial service together until late last night and were all too tired and/or emotional to do more than go to bed after! So it was more of an unfolding day than most are around the Myers-Benner home!
I walked to the end of the driveway first thing to assess water levels as I had not heard cars drive by and was suspicious that the creek had overrun its banks. It had!
Back at the house, Jason brewed decaf while I made breakfast. I think this might have been our third morning of hot drinks and Wendell Berry Sabbath poems in a row. Thanks rainy weather!
Once Kali rolled out of bed, she got some food in her and got a little heavier, and then got her hair chopped and got a little lighter. She had decided to donate her hair again in memory of Nora on this 10th anniversary. She is pretty cute with her short cut! It's shorter than we both anticipated, but it suits her great and I think she is already getting used to it! Wouldn't you know it, then both other sisters wanted hair cuts. That OR Alida wanted Jason to chop his so she could have the longest hair in the family. As it turned out, I was able to get away with trimming little locks of Alida and Terah's hair so they could also give some to the birds for their nests. Terah was still unsure of this compromise but a family rain walk/explore got her mind on other things. I did manage to do their hair all the same way which they were all fond of!
Off we went to explore the streams along the road (ok, look at them...not really explore them!), snacking on mulberries on our way down the lane. I'll let the pictures and videos show you what we found. The coolest thing was definitely a place at the edge of the yard of Emily and Jonas' rental house on our road where someone must have had a stake in the ground at some point. The ground is SO saturated and wanted to go somewhere with the water that there was a little water fountain coming right out of the ground. Crazy! The whole turf around it was spongy and moved. A little unnerving too...
One of my hopes for this evening is for Jason and I to spend more time going through our "memory box" of things from Nora. I've been chipping away at it and finding myself drawn into the memories that the various items bring back to me. It's a sweet and sad time. There is beauty and longing and reminders of how precious life is and what an incredible little light Nora was. Watching the memorial service was also such a reminder of the community that surrounded and supported us. I had a brief facebook exchange with a former colleague late last night that reminded me of a class Jason and I were resources persons for after Nora's death. Then going through the box of things, I found the poem I wrote to join in a class exercise they were all doing. Here we are again at that point in the calendar year...
Oxygen needs increasing, labored breathing, on our way to the ER.
"I won't hold a gun to your head,
but I think you need to let her go."
Her doctor's words stung.
The nurse accepted my meager offering of milk.
Nora's body tucked away out of reach,
the sound of propellers.
She was out of reach, I was out of control.
Had I abandoned her?
Did she know that this was not what I wanted?
That I loved her?
A week later, she left me.
She was in control and in my arms.
She showed me how to fly free.