Thursday, March 14, 2013

In the grips of

It's not even 5 a.m. yet.

And (actually) I've been awake for a long time, hovering in that blue state of not sleeping but not wanting to get up either.  When I'm well and truly depressed, I don't sleep.  I just lie wide-eyed in the dark, dreading everything.

This isn't quite like that.  I'm in the grips of a certain melancholy, it's true.  But (and this is an odd way to describe it), the melancholy is sweet, too.

A lot of it has to do with my dad, who is working hard to recover from the open heart surgery he had in December.  But yes.  I see him changing.  And it's hard.  But the kindness that has always been a part of his character has been distilled into something even more present, more defining.  And when I talk to him he is eager to laugh, full of good will.  His own father had the same quality in the years before he died.

At the same time my father is aging, I have this two year old granddaughter, who walked into the playroom yesterday  I've made for her.  She looked around at the toys and "kitchen" and costumes and exclaimed, "I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!"

A moment, I'm sure, that I'll remember as one of the better moments of my life.

All this.  In the same day.  It's how life happens, right?


radagast said...

Beautiful, Ann. More beautiful, I suppose, for its sadness. These times with your father and grand-daughter are so exquisite. And too damn fleeting.

I went years without having any sort of real connection with my father. When we started hiking together fifteen years ago, it was kind of like we were starting over. We are still light years apart, in many ways, but we both get giddy about the start of a new hiking season, about finding new wildflowers, etc. We became comfortable together in the rhythms of hiking and nature.

Now he is nearly eighty and, remarkable as his level of fitness is, I also see the changes in him. I see him question his ability to make it up the next hill. He needs a rest more often--he used to refuse to be the first one to call for a stop. He forgets the names of flowers that we have called out to each other for a decade. He cries when he wonders whether this will be his last time to see this lake or that meadow. And so do I.

Louise Plummer said...

Yes. All of it.

Ashley Miller said...

At twenty, stooping round about,
I thought the world a miserable place,
Truth a trick, faith a doubt,
Little beauty, less grace.

Now at sixty what I see,
Although the world is worse by far
Stops my heart in ecstasy.
God, the wonders that there are!
-Archibald MacLeish