Tomorrow Ben would turn three. I've realized for those who have lost loved ones...the pain…
All around me I see the tapestry of leaves turning orange yellow red amongst the still fresh greenery. They are not ready to give way to the crisp fall breeze. There is heartache in the fresh New England air, a relenting of sorts. I feel the transformation –a quiet giving of a peace offering to the change coming, yet a slight holding on to the past. One of the buzzing dragonflies, sweet angst of summer heat, sunlight burning through the thick air. Or, one of love, certainty, youth, as the memories filter down the mountain to the spot where I stand, head tilted up, heart abuzz.
I don’t think I’ve ever written of heartbreak. Heartache through which grieving of past and future merge. Arriving in New England again has brought a sensation of memories rising through my chest. The scent of ancient stone piled along the roadway, trees wet with the falling rain, leave and grass merging into one. I have learned mourning does not just follow death, it can follow the transmutation of time, relationships, love. As I drive from Burlington to Castleton, I feel a rise and fall of my chest as tears flow. The “ache” is the rush of adrenaline through my “heart,” as it cracks open for pieces of me to fall to ground. The “us” that could have been. The family that was –Ben running through the trees with me, holding my hand as we go. The apple picking and Christmas tree shopping, the quaint, small towns of Middlebury as we pass. But, it is more than that. Heartache can be a reminder of love lost, changed…gone, gained. The present that exists in that moment is an acrobat on a tightrope. Teetering with indecision. A grieving of a future that will never be.
Yet, as I watch the vista before me, I am reminded of the natural transformation of life. The rejuvenation gained from growth and change. Seasons translate the time that is passing into a visual masterpiece. I am in the pigment before me, speaking of a new “me” that I can discover, changing with each breath. I can evolve into the me that I am destined to be, while still holding onto the heartache as it passes. Then gently let go.