choosing to cherish…

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“I miss Dolly,”  her faint voice trembled
with over ninety years of love and loss,
her tiny frame seated near my kneeling down
as I planted the blooms that will keep her company
in the living and letting go.

Her goodbyes have been a long and steady stream,
husband,  siblings,  family and friends
…so many graveside goodbyes,
sitting small now in the yard,  wistful eyes tugging at memory
and searching the windows of Dolly’s house empty next door
still unsold and looking  painful hollow.

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I listened to the homesick  sound her heart made
and clucked soft and pulled weeds from Dolly’s bed,  too,
so the lonely wouldn’t grow so tall
and filled Sara’s  bowl with attention and fresh water
and “I hear you” and “I care”
and made sure the flowers will sing her their sweetest songs

and packed up my tools and the wisdom
that is her gift to me,
this freshly fertilized choice to cherish
and I tuck it in close to heart as I drive away
and hear it deep down,
hear it clear and strong:
Appreciate
Show up.
Don’t waste this.

Life is shorter than our busy days can make it seem.
Be here now.

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“To live in this world,  you must be able to do three things.
To love what is mortal,  to hold it against your bones
knowing your own life depends on it,
and when the time comes to let it go,
let it go.”

-Mary Oliver