Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thistles & the Wild Wind



Birdlets with slender beaks love thistle seed. I bought a thistle feeder to honor a friend, and it's full of birdsong and darting wings: goldfinch and pine siskin, a rosy finch and a redpoll.

That would be the purple thistle, emblem of Scotland the Brave where the seabirds keen and if you're very lucky you might hear a piper skirling to the wild wind.

I sit and watch the birds and sometimes tell my friend
about the day's small doings.


She so loved old-timey storytelling, asking for the "next book" when I was all but breathless from writing the last. For two months she had asked me to remind her about the date coming up.

But she wasn't there, at the Autumn Equinox when I read stories aloud. Nor will she see the jolly YouTube, though I send it skimming her way across a deep pool.

A horrid upbringing had haunted her; she never felt quite safe.

When I heard her story's ending, I sat up through the night singing rite of passage Hospice song, and as best I could held her hand on far journey.

In quietude she turned, seemingly, and said, "Do it now; do it while living. Forgive the unforgivable."

I woke at first light to birdsong and such a feeling of joy and freedom.

And so I remember my kindly friend, blithe and imperishable, old pain shot through the heart.


 Winter Solstice