Yesterday, in my usual backyard spot for musing over what goes on in life, a tiny hummingbird buzzed me.
“Where is my own special food?” he asked.
“Alas, my friend,” I replied rather sadly, “This will be a season of changes for you and me. I will soon be gone from here, and I don’t know if the incoming fellow will put out your feeders or not… So, for now anyway, you need to go set up operations in a different spot.”
“Thank you, Ma’am,” he said. “You’ve been a friend to us for a long time” And off he whirred, life’s business being more pressing to a hummingbird than fond farewells.
Last night a dear friend of mine winged his flight from this world to What Comes Next. Without his help and companionship these past six years I don’t believe I could have stayed here, fairly isolated in a tiny city where I knew almost no one when I arrived.
O SON OF THE SUPREME! I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve? I made the light to shed on thee its splendor. Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom? ~The Hidden Words
I guess my tears are more about me missing him than about him, wherever he is now. He was one who had urged me to move over to California to be with my daughter. Thinking of that, I suddenly discovered some energy to get on with more packing, sorting and selling of possessions.
Today I sold my faithful Ford Ranger, which has been with me for twelve years. It is almost as good as new, and has simply moved one yard over to join the Dominguez family. They can use it, and I cannot, any longer. Their two small girls will fit fine on the small back seats, and when Jesusito comes for weekends he’ll find a place in there, too.
It’s the first time since I was 22 that I have been without a car or truck.
As “Ferdi” drove off for the last time with a smiling man at the wheel, I looked up at the sky and there was Raven, laughing down at me. Flicking his wedge shaped tail as he mounted higher and higher into the brilliant sun amongst wispy clouds, he yelled “Krrrrrkkkkkk!! KrrrrrrrrrrrKKKKKKK!!” in my general direction.
I’m still working out the meaning of that, but it felt important at the time. Raven is a tricky one.
Perhaps it meant, “Good for you, you slouch. You finally took a really big risk!”
Yesterday my daughter and another woman who will be our roommate found a house they think will be perfect for the three of us. I filled out my share of the application to rent it and quickly shot it back to them. Crossing fingers that we get it, because it is a very, very beautiful place with a yard full or flowers and orange trees, even a gardener to look after the grounds. To a New Mexican the rent is practically heart stopping, while to people in the Silicon Valley it’s on the low side.
Man, life is something when it throws you in different directions all at once.
Assuming that the closing on my home here goes through (unlike the last one two years ago) I will soon be the relieved owner of a proper wheelchair van. Once I have the funds to send for it, it will come to me from Atlanta. That should be in about a month.
Feeling pretty confident, I’ve ordered travel crates for Elf and Opus, which I plan to gradually introduce them to over the next month. While they are a bit puzzled by the upheaval around them, they are dogs, full of the importance of barking at saucy doves on their roof and neighbors walking by on their street. They adjust.
That’s why I’m putting Elf and Opus in charge of keeping me on an even keel. When all else fails, go bark at a bird. Splendid!
My friend Tony is someone I’d have missed a good bit way up there in the Bay Area, where long ago he served a spell as a translator for the NSA… He was trilingual, a middle school teacher, all around mechanic, musician and one of a tiny cadre of people in the region who had the skills to repair clarinets and all manner of brass instruments. For some years he worked for Cesar Chavez, and kept fishing boats running in Mexico. An all around character, my old friend.
But now missing this man, who was a good friend to many, is tempered by knowing that his pain is no longer running his last days. Cancer took him after a relatively short time, at the age of 76. It was only weeks ago that we shared our last pizza at my kitchen table. Though he knew he would soon be gone he was still full of interest in the world, where things are headed. He even found his little dog a great new home, with a friend who appreciates the pooch.
His funeral will be filled with live klezmer music, performed by the band this Slovenian Irishman played with for years.
And so it is a joy to look forward to being to be with my daughter after so many years of living in different parts of the country, and a sorrow to have said goodbye to this dear old friend. I had no choice in the latter situation, and am glad to have the first to look forward to.
Packing and pooches, on with the business of life… Well started by sitting here at my other familiar reflection spot. In front of the small MacBook screen, munching pepitas, listening to music suited to the mood of the moment. The name of the playlist, should you wonder, is Overcoming.
One of the songs on the Overcoming list is The Script’s Superheroes. If you’d like to hear it, it is on Vimeo: