When August and I stopped by, this massive plant was alive with bees, and butterflies. I have been admiring this type of plant for years, and can not remember a time that I slowed down to take a long look at the micro-universe that it creates.
This one is actually less than a mile from my home, why did I pass it by for so long, when every time I glimpse at the wild purple spikes of flowers and spikey green leaves I smile?
My whole scheme to walk around my neighborhood started as a way to replicate a pilgrimage walk, and unexpected benefits keep coming my way. In a time of isolation and social distancing, I am seeing my neighbors, from 6 feet at least!, daily, slowing down to see the beauty of these hills. Walking gives me time to slow down, I have been running as fast as I can since Neal got sick, at first to heal him, then to hold him when healing was no longer possible, and after his death, I took off again, making sure that our kids were ok, returning to work too quickly, and adding, adding, adding to the busyness of my life. Mainly, it felt good, I have traveled to see beloved relatives and friends, been able to witness the joy of my son and soon to be daughter in law get engaged and see my daughter flourish as she started her professional life in nearby San Francisco.
Now, with this non optional slow down, I have the time to mourn the loss of Neal, to remember the good, bad and the ugly times, and after 30 years together, all of those elements did spend time with us. I was fortunate, lucky, blessed to fall in love with this man, he was as decent a person as I have ever or will ever meet, asked for little, appreciated our lives so much. In the early days of living together, we lived in a great apartment in San Francisco, and at the end of the day, I could hear his little sports car roar down Parnassus Street, and turning down Willard. By the time he made it into our driveway, I was hanging out the window, waving and saying" You came home!" he would chuckle , bounce his way into our third floor apartment, and shake his head with a smile telling me of course he was home, it was where he wanted to be!
The thrill of seeing him never stopped, I was so proud to be his wife, and am always grateful that we met on that elevator.