Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Man on Fire

Is it possible? Has summer really arrived? Or is this just a blip in the rain? Knock on wood. Or better yet, gather an armful of it and head to the beach. It's beach fire time.

The secret to a fierce fire...dryer lint. Seriously. We collect our dryer lint for just this purpose. Fuzzy pile at the bottom, then a small tent of thin sticks, topped off with drift wood. There. Now, you can boast your own Oregon Park Ranger Secret.

Running out the door after dinner, trying to capture the last of the sunset, I grabbed what was handy. Scarf, fleece jacket, my brother's Thinsulate hat, the one he always wore when skiing or mountaineering. Light, thin, incredibly warm. I've never worn it before, because it still smells like his sweaty head. And I wanted it to keep smelling like that for as long as possible.

But something about a dog and a beach fire on a stony stretch of sea shelf as the tide comes rolling in makes everything okay. Of course, cold beer helps, too. Or maybe it's the rainforest at our backs, the ground soft with moss, ferns, wild mushrooms...the way in which the Universe shows us that from the mulch of death springs life.

It's been nearly a year since Edward died, even though his absence still feels so present, so yesterday, a gaping crevasse snuggling up next to me. Although I sometimes forget (Oh, I'll just call my brother and ask him that...), I always remember. That my love for my brother was so wide and deep, so complex and potent, the loss of him remains devastating...thank goodness.

Still. I'm amazed at the richness of this moment. And the one that came before that. I can't really offer something trite, like "time heals all wounds," mostly because I've never believed that. Time blurs, yields a solid crusty scab, at best a phantom limb. You find a way. Your own way.

Now, Edward's hat smells like smoke. Salt air. Wet dog. Like a life well-lived. And I'm quite sure he would love that.


Kylita said...

Thanks, Holly, for all you have brought to my life. I guess I can thank our brothers for that. I'm so glad you have Edward's hat.
Thanks also for these beautiful photos and the beach fire secret. I'm going up north where all my family came from (and where Dana died) this wkend and just found out this a.m. that the friend I'm staying with, her husband died yesterday, but she wants us to come still. So we will.....and I will see some sunsets on Lake Michigan, due West.

Kylita said...

It's amazing how much this sunset looks like the one I saw Sun night on Lake Michigan! I had bad allergy attack Sat night and felt miserable all Sunday ;o( No romance time, no hand holding, but some good connections and laughter and since Honey had been drinking I drove home from 11 pm to 3:30 am Sun/Mon ... thru mile upon mile of orange construction barrels! Felt like the old days of acid trips! Ha! or being in a rat maze, w/one lane and yellow lights on and on and on....thanks for your comment on my blog. Wanted to say I'm glad to be back at the humble