Last night Frank's one hundred and one year
old father joined us for dinner al fresco. Our
repast planned to be soft and easily digestible.
Fortunately Sole Meuniere, potatoes mashed
with a ton of butter and heavy cream, plus
Swiss chard satisfied all of our hungry hearts.
The meal aside what was most wonderful was
our time together. So precious given the clock
is ticking. Thus every time with him could be
our last. And what better way to spend such
precious times than a summer night. Enjoying
each other's company in those moments when
the sun is gently fading away in the west.
The pause that refreshes
I may have shared this before. One of my
favorite movie scenes is in Howard's End.
Said Merchant & Ivory vignette presents
Vanessa Redgrave wandering her estate at
dusk. In that magical time when the sun is
just about to dip below the horizon. During
moments like that the world seems all the
more special. A calming silence falls just
before the day ends. Causing one to pause
and savor the little daylight left. It's that
time of a summer day that I treasure most.
One of those few that causes me to stop.
And appreciate all I'm blessed to enjoy.
All of us remember some long summer evening
of our youth. Chasing lightning bugs. Playing
hide and seek in the ever growing shadows. Or
watching TV on the screened porch. Somehow
those times were different from all others. And
while fleeting, more precious than all others.
As kids we don't realize how temporary youth
is. Nor how soon winter will fall upon us. And
yet in those interludes the world stands still.
And for a brief time all is more than good in
the world. If only we knew then what we know
now. Maybe we might have appreciated it even
more. Savoring every summer for all it gives.
I often recall an early summer's eve all so long
ago. Our family had spent the day at the beach.
We dined together post returning to our second
home in rural Michigan. Then after their bath I
lulled my younger kids to sleep as a cassette
played Pavorotti's "Che Gelida Manina" from
Puccini's La Boheme. Aa a gentle breeze blew
through the windows. Causing the curtains to
gently flutter like some grand dame's petticoats.
That was a moment in time so precious that to
this day it remains vibrant. One that while my
world and all involved have changed, remains
perfectly preserved in my memory and heart.
Until we meet again...
This evening as we bid Frank's dad goodbye,
we wondered if it might be our last. As the
sun gently set, I reflected on the kindness, joy,
and love he has given me. Even as he falters
Dad's caring tenderness inspires me. Could
it be that much like a summer's eve, our end
is often the best of times? Is it possible that
we're better than ever when everything will
be over soon? The thought of which causes
us to treasure every moment of every day.
At some point we will all slip away like the
setting sun. Leaving those we love to savor
the moment. Now that's what I call... magic.