Lush   Red Ribbon woods

The summer was green. Richly green. A green which came from mixing moody cobalt storm skies with contrasting sunlight. A Colouring so vivid it appears dewy even in the late of day.  Stimulating hues stealing the show, a backdrop which can only be described as Lush.

It rained all summer, not consistently but intermittently. It began during the overlap.  That time of year where spring passes the baton to summer. It is also the summer Grandpops left us.  So instead of the usual hand-off, Spring fell into summers arms and wept. Summer, sharing in her grief, held her.  Together the seasons mourned and as they lamented the world bloomed. This devastation and desolation created the lush. As Spring cried on his shoulder Summer beamed, his strength holding it together for the both of them. By the time spring returned to her bed the earth was both, thoroughly quenched from her tears, and healthily nourished from his gleaming elegy.

Homestead felt the most forlorn, for it was she who helped bear Grandpops into the world.  Aside from Springs tears and  Homesteads sorrow, it was difficult to be too sad. Everyone wanted to be somber. The earth, the Weald family, the sun and the sky, but Pops had been such a life force, one could not remember him without smiling. It prompted conflict. For who could recall such a life without rejoicing? And so summers mourning was with woe and celebration, an emotional contradiction bringing weather of clear skies and weeping eyes. Smiles with tears, heartache and exult.

The family gathered at milkweed lane. Grandpops’ four sisters with their husbands and their kids and their kids kids. The homestead, as at Christmas, expanded to accommodate . But unlike Christmas it was done wearily and in quiet grief. Grandmother, as it often is for those whose partner passes, is too busy hosting to truly indulge her sorrow. Later she will morn properly and privately. For now she stands behind the front window contemplating the bursts of sun showers between blazing sunshine and cool breeze. The strange weather as wet and hot as the strong coffee being handed to her by her daughter in law. Mrs Weald quietly reminds her that it almost time to go.

The house is surrounded by vehicles ready to solemnly transport mourners. Grandpops spirit watches them leave. He knows they will travel to the Juniper Valley cemetery to formally say  goodbye. He won’t be there. He said his farewells in a dream the night his soul was called back.

In this realm between realms Grandpops can see the workings of earth. The shimmer and glimmer and what keeps it here.  He ambles across the property one last time with tenderness and appreciation for the acreage which fortified himself and his family. He calls out to Spring as she passes on her way home. She smiles, lifts him to her cool breezes and ferries him over the property.  On route the old noumenon embraces each tree and plant, touches the pond and kisses his mother homestead.  Finally Lady Prima leaves him in the farthest forest at the border of Milkweed lane and in the company of Elephant tree.

“Hello my brother.” The two old friends greet one another. Pops places the palm of his ethereal hand on the old beech and the wrinkled grey bark accepts his touch as familiar. The tree has been ready to move on for some time, beech trees are not known to survive so long in this part of the world. Elephant, a name given to him by a child grandpops, has been waiting for him. In his youth the tree had been Pops’ sanctuary.  A hide-out from his little sisters and his fortress of solitude. As he grew to a man Pops would often visit the tree for comfort, for peace or just to be with his thoughts.  The tree was also the only thing Pops ever kept to himself. Not because Grandpops was a selfish man. Oh contraire, but because sometimes somethings are just too private, too personal to share.

Together, life long friends will pass on and through… or up and beyond.  However the route, only they will be shown. With one last look back Pops spies the abandoned book beneath the balsam. Reassured he returns face forward  and on to the next. The decaying pulp of poem sinks deeper down and with an inaudible shimmer the curtain closes on this grace and makes way for the next.