I’m wearing my little sister’s ring right now.  I have been missing her in new-old kinds of way of late.  As I have grieved with others, I’ve recalled ways and reasons that I ached over her that I haven’t remembered since that first year or so that she slipped off.  And I miss her as I encounter new friendships that she never was a part of.  Of course she is a part of me, and thus a part of every interaction I have.  Her mannerisms and essence are closer then my skin, which also maintains its character and form despite taking its leave.  This past year or so has been a bombardment of losses.  You have to acknowledge that indeed it has been a hard year when at some point you stopped keeping count of the painful announcements and when the deaths of dear ones start to pile up like the those leaves muffling news of illnesses, dreams laid down and the absence of friends through other means. 

        I have no idea what to do with all that.  You get what is dealt and then you fold, or bet high, or bluff your way into oblivion.  I folded for the Summer.  Which meant I retreated home to my parents’ house, to wide solitary beaches, bristling clear starry nights, and to the unexpected therapy of holding babies in my arms.  The beaches were places for clearing my mind and recollecting on a blank and beckoning canvas.  They were the perfect place for saltwater tears, with crashing waves louder then crying.  I sat watching the sun disappear till the last blue glows of sunlight merged into the light of the rising moon, till the sun gave way to let the bonfires do their own glowing.  There was a piece of sky that once never ceased being lit.  And the starry nights were a discipline to step into, something I had loved and now found… hard.  Like holding back when you really have something you are dieing to say.  It is so odd a discipline when I really do love star-gazing, especially when it includes climbing through a bedroom window onto a roof as it did at my folks’.  I think God was reminding me of the beauty of sitting still with Him and quieting me down so I could enjoy it again and just hang out with Him.  The babies!  Oh the babies!  Drooling and laughing and thick as a ham and delicate as a bird and so fragile and so new!  (And one made nearly entirely of puff pastry and brown sugar.)  Armfuls evoking wonder and the hope of new beginnings and the purity and resilience of life created.  I was so well provided for in all that folding. And I’m not sure how it all intersects with now, but things keep popping up.  The skin dies off and renews, but the freckles manage to stay the same.

Hmmm… well that’s a start.