She was sitting on the veranda of her family home. A pot of coffee nearly empty, her journal worn as if someone was ploughing a field while writing in it, newspapers on the floor forgotten since the morning, and a few autumn leaves scattered beneath her feet. The late September Sun was still warm as it was setting over the horizon. The wood in the distance no longer appeared fully green, the autumn has uncovered yellow and red shades of the leaves. A few evergreen trees stood as pillars of the wood, silently stating that even among the seasons of change some things stay the same.
She was sitting alone observing the surroundings but her mind was distant. She remembered the last time she spoke to him, his words, his gaze weakened with age but a twinkle in his eyes was still so full of love. She remembered even the rhythm of his breath, as it slowed down in his last days. The pauses between thoughts, when he found it difficult to speak he would reach out for her hand and held it as tight as he could. They communicated through touch, through smile, through recognition of each other’s gaze, through silence. Even their hearts knew how to commune when their words fell silent. She remembered sitting next to him, enjoying one of those intimate moments, when a tear rolled down her face. His hand too weak to stretch to brush it off her cheek, so he squeezed her hand pulling her nearer, closed his eyes and let a tear roll down his cheek, so that she would lean over and erase it with her kiss. She treasured those moments like priceless memories.
She reached for her journal and started writing:
As a tree misses its leaves when they one by one fall, so I miss your face to greet me when I come home. As a flower loses its memory of the seed it used to be, I find it hard to remember the first moments of the first days after you were no longer here. I do not know how I survived, what kept me not give up, how I didn’t drown in grief, in tears, in sighs of the heart. I look towards heaven, towards the sky, then I look within, and I wonder how I am able to live without you being near. I miss your presence, I miss your touch, but more so I miss hearing your voice sounding in my ears, in my soul, in my mind, in my heart. Your laughter was my greatest joy, the chatter, the arguments, you telling me news that you read, me telling you things you didn’t want to hear, all that and more is now gone, and my life, what is it now? I close my eyes and I remember, those memories have kept me alive.
She closed the journal gently placing it on the floor. Grabbing the cup of coffee that was nearly empty, she drank what was left. It was cold. She got up, wrapped the red sweeter around her imagining she was wrapped in his arms. One of the last gifts he gave her was this sweeter. Arms almost in ‘self-embrace’, she walked down the steps into the garden and set on a walk towards the wood. While walking she wondered, “Do the trees grieve for the leaves they loose every Fall? Do they remember them all?” She knew she would, if she were a tree. She already does, she misses him.
To be continued…
© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 9th April 2015)
Photo by © Iva Beranek