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QUINTESSENCE

The Way of Memories

XXXII
Rain has fallen all the day,
O come among the laden trees:
The leaves lie thick upon the way
Of memories.

Staying a little by the way
Of memories shall we depart.
Come, my beloved, where I may
Speak to your heart.
- James Joyce

This small stanza by the poet Joyce seemed to echo my mood of the last few days. Memories lie thick at my feet as I walk the sands of Priest Lake, run along the dusty paths, sit by the phone waiting for news of a big moment in my son's life, acknowledge the pang that never softens on the anniversary of my mother's passing. Memories float up as dust motes at the least disturbance it seems. My life feels thick with leaves of experience, laden with the musty sweetness of love and regrets, losses and hope. There is a quote I think of - "Only Hope remained there within the rim of the great jar" (after Pandora had let loose disaster and affliction). Is it not true that when life blows through us, the lingering outline of those great shifts and heaves through life is almost always hope?

Today is the 22nd day of the month. This is my number. I was born on the 22nd, the autumnal equinox. A special person in my life was also born on this day, in a summer month. My beloved Ken passed on the day of the 22nd. Passages - in and out of love and life and connection. I think all of us feel connected to one special day, in which memories seem to pivot around us like ribbons on the Maypole. Today is no exception. I am suffused - as though experience were saffron in the kitchen, heady with the flavors of life. Memories, the poet writes, tarry us along the way. Pause and welcome. The past grown gentle, accepted.

Hope lights the path home.

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