We've returned from North Carolina where we helped marry my brother this last weekend to his best friend and partner of some 20 years in her hometown church, much like our hometown church. It was a lovely week, filled with brilliantly colored wildflowers along the highways, a delightful visit with friends from that other life in the Bay Area who are now working on new beginnings of their life on the right coast, an all-too-brief visit with daughter #1 who drove 8 hours Friday night to be there for her uncle, the inevitable real estate calls, and much food. The trip home, though, was very long and very tiring, and we're both still jet lagged.
And in another week we drive to Colorado to scatter ashes in front of that cabin my folks loved so much, and reunite with more family, see more beautiful countryside, and all from within the cabin of our comfy truck instead of a long flight and rental car. We look forward to that trip, as difficult as I know the act of scattering ashes and final closure will be.
So we've seen those second chances and new beginnings in a macro lens this last week, just as we've experienced them for ourselves in previous years. Each day is a new chance, though, to find more about ourselves, to experience the world, love, delight, exploration, spirit, and so much more.
I joined Tom's family for the memorial service, another new beginning of life without his daily presence for his family. I am glad I went: it helped me with closure and grief for Mother as well, and was a chance to get to know cousins better. Another long, grueling trip, though. I think of them daily, struggling to embrace the truth of the void death leaves in our life.
Another second chance and new beginning has been offered to daughter #3, whose travels and trials are chronicled elsewhere. We are grateful for her enthusiasm and determination, and pray that it offers her what she needs.
And the garden is planted, with new beans and lettuce and tomatoes and peppers and more dotting the gravelly brown soil with green; the swamp cooler has been serviced and now serves; the green hills and fields have mostly turned to California gold; and the wheel turns. Another cycle. Another season. Another new beginning, even as it is familiar.