Some things you never forget. Like the comfort of your father’s hand in yours when you’re small and afraid, or the final ember of light in the eyes of your dying child.
Other threads are inextricably woven into the softer fabric of soul. The sensuous, cold satin of summer’s first ice cream on your five year old tongue… the careless rapture of life before cognizance of consequences tempers immortality. The first triumph that defines your path. The first loss that staggers you into the inexorable realization of death.
Life’s highways are the ones we never put on our itinerary… like the one where I’d marry a man who didn’t love me or bury two daughters. And, as I was raised to be a saint, as were all female children of the 40’s and 50’s, I was singularly unprepared for the preponderance of happy sinners I’d meet on the road of life. Equally so, for my own foolish frailties and lapses from grace, or for the fact that life requires drawing without an eraser.
We don’t live life in a straight line, no matter what the chronology suggests, we live it in anecdotes, one startling moment at a time. Things stand out randomly according to their weightiness, the unimportant falling into the crevices of the bas relief of time, while the pivotal moments stand out like tiny mountain ranges. Each little mountain holds some important learning at its summit… we struggle to climb, find the message, look out with wiser, warier eyes. If we’re lucky, we learn something useful for the next climb and don’t die of exhaustion before we can make use of the intel.
Inasmuch as the sages and the quantum physicists now tell us time is not linear, there seems no reason to speak of my mountains in any particular order. I hope you’ll climb with me a while. We may be able to offer each other a hand on the road to the final summit.
© Cathy Cash Spellman/The Wild Harp & Co. Inc 2010