Thank you to everyone who wrote to me here or privately to express condolences on my sister's passing last week. It has been a rough few days, and there are many more of those days ahead as I figure out how to journey along the trail without Barb - I've saved all your notes and will be reading them again and again in the coming weeks.
Rather than knowing she is in just one place and turning in her direction (sort of like a sunflower, I suppose), I shall have to look for my sister in all I see, and that is what I am setting out to do. Her dancing molecules are present everywhere now, and so, she is still present in the world and shining her steady light. I must learn to find her in the things around me, and perhaps, too, I will hear her voice sometimes in the trees and leaves and wild places we both love so much. The word dancing is appropriate for Barb by the way - she was once a ballerina, and she really did go dancing through life in the most graceful way.
At some time during the last week, my beautiful thoughtful Spencer turned seven and in all that was happening, we forgot to mark his special day. Without understanding just what was going on, my boy knew that his mom (me) was sad, and he offered his own condolences, a soft muzzle in my lap now and then, snuggles and doggy kisses by the barge and the canoe full. These are birthday photos with the last of the antique rose blooms in the garden and the first of the blackberries - in them, he's pointing a grey squirrel up in the old crabapple tree and hoping ardently that it will come down. The squirrel sat on a high branch and chattered, but it didn't take a chance and climb down. If it had, he would held his point and not given chase - he has been known to hold a point for hours.
Tonight we doing just a small birthday "thing" for Spence and hoping for fireflies to light up the celebration because he always enjoys chasing them - goodness knows, it is hot enough here for fireflies.