The Dimming of the Day

11 Dec

I remember back to those nights in the townhouse on Church Street when I would clean house all day to take up the time. In the evenings, I would have some wine and sit in front of the stereo and play Bonnie Raitt before dinner. Tonight, it is windy and rainy and I have been cooking in my little kitchen and remembering those nights. I was in love with Brian Hall’s music then and always wanting something more. Funny how time doesn’t change much.

This afternoon, I went to go see Annie. It was difficult.The moment I saw her grave, I burst into tears; everything I had left in July 2011 was disintegrated. Through hurricanes and winter, I shouldn’t be surprised but I was.

I have missed her so, and of course I had not brought tissues. Garden gloves and nippers, but tissues, no. At that moment though, I didn’t care about my snotty nose or the fact that I was talking out loud to a dead woman. My friend needed to know that I was there with her and I would not leave her. As long as I live, I will be responsible for Annie and I aim to keep my vow. Clearing the weeds and branches, I pulled thorny vines that pierced my hands through gloves and snapped dead pine branches which scratched my face and arms. But once all was clear, I decided to line her feet with cedar, berries, and lichen laden branches. I wanted her to feel beautiful.

Once I was done, it was almost as if I didn’t know what to say, but then my heart opened and we spoke. One day, we will meet. How awkward that will be, I told her. She knows everything about me and I don’t know more than what a census report and some good assumptions can say.  I told her how lucky I was to have had choices. In life, in my career, in the men I have loved, even if some of those choices hadn’t turned out so well. As a 19th century island woman, she married a court-martialed disfigured man,  someone fourteen years older. I didn’t know if she loved him, but I do know that she lost her girls. Two babies gone.  “Budded on earth to flower in heaven”. I can’t imagine her life…makes me a bit ashamed to even be here.

Before I left, I hugged her stone and I lost it all. I cried so hard I almost got sick. Pressing my heart to her name, all I had came rushing forth. I don’t know how, but I felt her comforting arms. What a friend I have in this woman, this woman that died at her best. I vowed to her, I will live for you girl,  a life so full and rich. I will live it for you. One day we will talk about it all. But, I need you now, I need your strength, your love…your guidance. Please be with me, lady.

So tonight as I cooked, I tried to remain with myself. I listened to old songs that put me back into the townhouse and a rocking chair. I would be tired from cleaning and trifles and my heart would long for something I am not so sure exists anymore.

Love.

And I know Annie knows this pain of loss. So I need her as the light dims and tonight, she’ll crawl into the bed with me and we’ll sleep back to back as sisters do.

Tomorrow, I’ll see what this world has to bring me.

This old house is falling down around my ears
I’m drowning in a river of my tears
When all my will is gone you hold me sway
I need you at the dimming of the day

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