Summer is giving way to fall, and although autumn is my favorite season, it’s hard not to lament, just a little, the cliched lazy days of summer as they slip into the loose weave of memory. Today is a blend of seasons, as though time itself, weather itself, can’t decide on identity, is having trouble moving on. The air is warm, in the 80’s, and the sky clear. But in the yard already-dried leaves skip across the driveway, scratching at my feet while above the trees rustle in the balmy breeze. If I stayed outside long enough my skin would burn, but the morning will be chilly enough for a sweater.
I’m in love, today, with the various weeds and mosses that insist on growing where they’re not wanted. I love the dandelions that push up through fissures in concrete, the moss that continues to carpet a crucial stone step leading to our deck. Years ago I’d mow around tall and flowering weeds in the yard, leaving oases of overgrown grass to protect what had been, arbitrarily it seemed, designated pest when they could have just as easily been called flower. Who decided? I didn’t know, but on my own acre I could reclassify and shelter.
My brother missed the turning of spring to summer; he missed the summer; he missed major time markers in the lives of his wife and kids. Christopher held his first summer job, working with animals in a no-kill shelter.
My brother missed a lot, and his family missed a lot but they – we – are lucky. The kids’ father, Lori’s husband, my brother, my mother’s son… he’s coming home. He’s out of
So here’s a little thank you for that which persists. Here’s a little thank you for the oasis of family, to naming that which is cherished, to the quiet shifts of season that tell us time is passing and we should pay attention. Here’s to Rob and Lori and their kids…
Although I know it won’t happen, can’t happen, hasn’t happened, I wish – I deeply wish – that all families with loved ones far away could say, sooner rather than later, welcome home.
*This was written a few days ago but couldn't be posted because of the planned surprise. Major Robert Scott is at home with his wife Lori and their children.