As I watched these apple blossoms pitching about on their way to a parking lot cleared out by coronavirus, I thought of how life has tossed me about, taking me to places I never expected—
to a white sandy Miami beach, coral sand swirling in the surf around my 5-year-old ankles, to a harrowing moment at the wrong end of a sawed-off shotgun.
As time marches on, I am more and more aware of the pull and push of it, of looking back over my shoulder at a drug-addicted teenager who I hardly recognize in the mirror anymore, then at a career I only dreamed of when it began 25 years ago and from which now I sometimes fantasize about retiring so I can write full-time, then at a baby I desperately wanted for years who is going to graduate from high school next year.
Life will continue taking me places, some I will want to go to and some I will not. When I land on the asphalt, I’ll pick myself up—maybe even ask for help if I’m badly hurt—do a little self-care, clean up my wounds and pay attention to what seems to be the next indicated thing to do (likely get the hell out of the road before a car comes!). When I land on a sandy beach, I’ll dig my toes in the warm sand, hunt for beautiful shells and breathe in the briny air, hopefully with someone I cherish. (And, as I always do on a beach, I'll think of Dad.)
The most important thing I've learned is to stay connected to all the other beautiful, perfect blossoms being whipped around in this life with me. No matter what.
A line from another of my favorite poems, Walter Benton’s This is My Beloved: Entry April 28, comes to mind: “I need love more
than ever now… I need your love, I need love more than hope or money, wisdom or a drink…”
Things are crazy out there. Stay connected.