I never meet a day or a coffee pot without remembering the sound of my father’s voice in the early morning. I see him standing by the coffee pot, his greeting optimistic as dawn, cup in hand ready to reach it out to me, sustenance of so many kinds writ large in that eternal gesture of generosity.
My sister is my 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. delight for the day – my daily touch-base about life, business, politics, laughter, tears or being talked off whatever ledge life may have perched me on – a heart friend who’s shared so much of life with me, with such amazing grace.
My daughter Cee Cee owns 1 p.m. It’s the time she used to pull into my driveway on her way home from college, hoping to be early enough to pick Dakota up at school, so we could laugh about teachers’ foibles together, play crazy word games or share her riotous Robin Williams take on life. Despite the fact that she’s been gone 13 years, at one o’clock each day, some part of my heart still listens for the laughter that always accompanied her flamboyant arrival.
Libbyanne, my dearest childhood friend, owns 5 o’clock on Fridays. There was such comfort in that quiet voice of lifetime friendship that ended each week and somehow put it all to rest, all question marks about the trials or triumphs made handle-able by shared history and philosophy. We met the first day of kindergarten and our friendship lasted more than half a century. She called us the Country Mouse and the City Mouse because she never left New Jersey, married a man she met at 17 and taught severely handicapped children with all the patient generosity of her great heart. For fifty years we ended the work week with a conversation. Fridays are lonelier since she’s gone.
My daughter Dakota holds so many hours in her hand. Truth is, nearly every hour of the past 24 years feels her touch. Memories of Sunday mornings, learning to drive at the local cemetery (trust me, it’s the safest place for such an enterprise!) Rainy Sunday all-day movie marathons… sunlit Saturday afternoons on the garden swing, teacup in hand, dog sitting on the opposite bench (and yes, Kumo loves teas as much as we do, especially if there’s an occasional ginger snap, too). Then lately, 6:30 when the now grown-up woman on her way home from the office calls to catch me up on the latest news and laughter.
Time and Again
This curious time sensitive continuum of love and memory is sometimes joyous, sometimes bittersweet, always tenderly companionable, but it’s incredibly comforting on some cosmic level to be able to share my days and nights with those so dear to my heart, in so virtual and yet visceral a way.
I think there are still a few of my daily hours left unaccounted for. I sometimes wonder if anyone will share them with me… or if they’ll just belong to me now, a not entirely unwelcome notion. My work prospers in solitude and perhaps that’s what it’s all about at this stage of the game – the work that’s left to do. Writing is one of the few professions you can continue as long as you can hold a pen, and I think there’s so much left to say. If I’m gifted with enough time to share what’s on my mind and in my heart as best I can, I’ll feel greatly blessed by Fate.
Time, the sages tell us, is not as we imagine it. Not linear and straight-forward as beginning/middle/end, but rather countless layers of molecular energy, all time happening at once but at different vibratory rates so that our awareness captures only now. While real understanding of that concept is a bit of a leap of faith, I do know this much: all time lives within us, always. We are the great recording device that captures all the moments that have ever been for us and all the emotions those moments contained. Barely a hairsbreadth beneath the surface, all memories remain, to be called forth by a sight, a sound, a scent, a single lightning flash of remembered love, frozen in time, safe-kept forever.
It seems to me that while the passage of time makes us vulnerable, the memories that time leaves in its wake make us unutterably strong. And sometimes even wise.
© Cathy Cash Spellman/The Wild Harp & Co. Inc 2014