Yesterday we attended the reposal for the father-in-law of my husband’s cousin. He was laid out in the small sitting room of his house, hands clasped over his chest, surrounded by shellshocked kin. A recent photograph of the man was propped on the coffin’s prow: young, only 65. Afterwards we ate in a vast room crammed with poinsettias, with a view of the foaming grey sea.
While walking the dog, I spotted the moon, hanging above the Star Fort. Having spent a fortnight mostly indoors, often adrift in difficult feelings, I keep forgetting that there is a moon, and stars, and mountains. Birdsong thrills me to my toes; I'm reminded of small creatures, thriving, even singing, despite the discontents of winter.
The wind made everything visible tremble, and those things lost their substantiality, dissipating into smoke and shadows. I felt so light, the only thing tethering me to the earth was the lead between my hand and Sam’s harness. I was aware of his nose, browsing the lawn's library of smells; his limp, a reminder of his injury; his lithe black body, attuned to my own pace. He was mine and I was his, our destinies entwined, for this night's hour, and we would get home alright.
I think: yes, it’s care that gives us ballast, weighs us to this world, and sometimes it’s terrible and wearisome, and sometimes it’s wonderful, and most of the time it’s necessary. After my walk, I felt even invigorated, despite the sadness of the day.