Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2008, weeks before Mattie was diagnosed with cancer. We took Mattie to the DC Aquatic Gardens. Each July the garden has a breathtaking display of water lilies. These water lilies are part of the natural terrain of the gardens, it isn't a special exhibit brought in. However in July the garden is transformed because every water lily is in bloom. It is an extraordinary sight, and I can see why Claude Monet was intrigued by water lilies and painted a series of them. Though Mattie's eyes are closed in this picture, he seems to be absorbing the sun, right along side the water lilies. I also love the fact that despite going to the gardens and walking around, notice what was in Mattie's left hand. A toy car! I used to have toy cars in my purse, in my car, all over our home, and rest assured wherever Mattie went a toy car was usually with us.
Quote of the day: (On grief) And you do come out of it, that’s true. After a year, after five. But you don’t come out of it like a train coming out of a tunnel, bursting through the downs into sunshine and that swift, rattling descent to the Channel; you come out of it as a gull comes out of an oil-slick. You are tarred and feathered for life. ~ Julian Barnes
I woke up this morning to this sight. Peter was up and washing his car. That may sound like a chore, but for Peter who works a 12 hour day Monday through Friday, couped up in an office, being outside, and having an opportunity to do outdoor things is actually very needed.
While talking to Peter from the deck as he was washing his car, I happened to see a BUNNY, hopping up the neighbor's driveway. It isn't the best picture, but that brown bundle at the edge of the driveway heading to the bushes was my morning bunny sighting.
This afternoon we headed into the town of Bethany and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend their annual craft fair. It was well done, with vendors in tents all along the boardwalk and main avenue. I particularly fell in love with the locally made pottery and local jewelers who make their own stunning pieces out of sterling silver and glass. I had the opportunity to talk to several of the vendors and learn more about their craft. As I was purchasing some pieces, I was listening to a wonderful quartet playing music in the bandstand. The musicians were in their early 70's and they were wearing red vests and bow ties. They were very talented and captured the attention of all ages. However, they began playing Louis Armstrong's song, What a Wonderful World (click on this link to listen to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIdbroOLvhw&feature=related) and the song made me very sad. In fact, I began crying while hearing it.
The interesting thing about an intense loss, is that it never leaves your side. You carry it with you, it colors every aspect of your world, thoughts, and feelings. Sometimes it appears that things are fine for a griever, but then in a split second, everything can change. Sadness can take over, at even the slightest and more innocuous of triggers. Louis Armstrong's song is NOT connected to Mattie and I in any way. But it was the words of the song that caught my heart and mind. In particular, the following lyrics: "I hear babies cry, I watch them grow," was overwhelming to me. Most people will not know first hand, thankfully, the pain of losing a child to cancer, and though I struggle each day to find new meaning and purpose in my life, there are times like today when I reflect on the fact that this is NOT a wonderful world. Any world where pediatric cancer exists and consumes children and their families, is NOT a good world. So you can imagine with me being in this emotional state, I wasn't the best of company today.
The other troubling thing about grieve is it doesn't go on vacation when you do! It exists and is ever present, even when I am surrounded by beauty and the serenity of the beach. This evening, Peter and I went for a walk on the beach. On the way to the beach, I passed my favorite garden, and right in and amongst the plants was a bunny. You can see him to the left of the green lantern. He blends in beautifully with his terrain!
There was A LOT going on at the beach at 5pm! As you can see there was a wedding taking place. I have heard of weddings by the beach, but never actually saw one.
It is certainly an ideal spot for a wedding and frankly though that caught my attention, the wedding really wasn't what was so captivating about tonight's visit to the beach. As we were approaching the beach, I swear it sounded like it was raining over the ocean. I could hear the pitter pattering of something, or almost like a rhythmic hand clapping. It was NONE of these things. Instead, it was hundreds of tiny fish jumping out of the water. Why? Because dolphins were herding these fish to shore, and the fish were jumping out of the water so they wouldn't get eaten. It was a sight beyond description.
Naturally when fish are jumping out of the water, you expect birds of prey, like osprey, to be on the scene. I saw this osprey come swooping in, dove into the water, and literally grabbed a fish right out of the water. You can see the fish hanging from this birds talons. Also notice in the water what looks like little waves. These are NOT waves, these are fish jumping!!!
The osprey has a wingspan of 5-6 feet, and having this bird fly over my head made an impression on me.
Tonight I saw the cycle or law of nature happen right before my eyes, and it made me pause with intrigue.