I’ve been thinking again about the change in seasons. I don’t know what to make of this winter/spring mix. As I was looking back through summer photos of the mountains to find aspen pictures for this post, and I was struck by how luscious and green everything looked. I found myself wondering if I’d even seen these photos before, because everything looked so new and beautiful. (I had seen them, I gone through them and uploaded them to Facebook, but that was right after I had taken them, in the middle of summer.) In the dry and dreary winter, I saw summer’s beauty and bounty and remembered that life would renew again.
I want to remember the aspens throughout the seasons. The papery leaves, brilliant green in the summer, yellow in the autumn, crumbled and lost in the winter.
March has been a strange season… Still no resolution. This month has left me feeling unclear about what to write here, but I know I must write something. I cannot let the time go unrecorded.
Sometimes I can go for days without thinking about my dad, or at least without despair. I can have days where I accept joy, and it does not come mingled in tears. Just the other day, I participated in an event that I had been working on and driving towards for weeks… It was a lovely day, and I had a lot of fun, but my dad never knew anything about it. He didn’t meet the people of Grey Havens. He didn’t know I had found a group of young adults to lead even nerdier than I am. He didn’t get to see their hilarious skit. All of these things happened after he died, part of the life I live now without his presence. But here’s the thing that scares me: I haven’t grieved about it. At least, it doesn’t seem like I have yet, anyway.
I do not know if I am numb, blinded by temporary happiness, or just reaching a new stage in the grieving process. I do not want it to be any of those things. I do not know what to make of this. What will spring bring to me? What will the tenth month bring? What will happen when I reach the anniversary date of the last time I saw him?
Lately I have been distracted from thinking about grief because I have been looking at the new blessings of my life. (Why do I feel bad about that?) I have a new job, praise God. I am getting to know new friends. I am growing closer to my nieces. I am finding things to enjoy in Colorado… And my dad won’t see it. Well, hopefully he will, but it won’t be in a way that I can interact with him about it. And it scares me that I haven’t broken down about it yet. I worry about what may be coming. (I suppose that’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. I should be careful. I need to stop overanalyzing. Grief is grief, there is no formula.)
There are some days that still pierce me. I am struggling with churches and questions of faith right now, and I can’t talk to my dad about it. I know he would have listened. I know he would’ve held me when I felt so confused and alone. I miss singing next to him. I miss the way he loved to worship. I also miss learning from him. I miss hearing him tell me stories about our family, his childhood, about mom.
The white flowers on the tombs of the kings of Rohan blossom in all the seasons of the year, that is why they are called evermind, simbelmynë. They grow where dead men rest, and I am the simbelmynë. I am the aspen tree. I stand rooted through winter, spring, summer, and fall, with my scarred bark and my papery leaves, but still I stand, silver and golden in the sunlight. Because there is always sun.
I am the evermind. I grow where death has overtaken, and I bloom there bright and beautiful, a white eye in the grass, ever seeing, ever remembering.