It's windy here again in paradise. Just a few minutes ago I Googled "Least windy place in Ventura County." The palm trees are blown out like windsocks, all their fronds pointed in one direction. It was impossible to walk on the beach this morning, and at least one day last week left me wondering if I'd scratched my corneas by trying. But there was a morning or two wherein I could inspect the wreckage wrought by wind and waves. It looked like this.
I've been doing my own dig through the wreckage. But unlike many people my age, I'm not collapsing under the weight of a parent's probated house stuffed to the rafters with possessions that have lost their meaning. My mom moved around. She broke up housekeeping and then broke it up again and again. By the time she made it to my house in California and then left here for a nursing home in Iowa, all I was left with was a closet shelf of boxes.
It was solemn and joyful and mysterious and surprising to open those boxes. Oh, there were boring parts and maddening parts, but there were beautiful sweet notes in greeting cards, so clearly chosen carefully for her. There were coins saved for no apparent reason, and hundreds of pretty postage stamps torn from letters. Old photos, of course, our baptismal certificates, and trinkets. But this was my favorite thing:
My mom never made it beyond the 8th grade. She began a string of jobs after that--most of them are mentioned HERE.
We all leave a trail behind us when we leave this life. Some of it wreckage, some of it rose petals.