mardi 20 juillet 2010

Off to Alfort

My gardening hat and the Texas scarf

I have watered the flowers, parched from the return of the summer heat, and put the hose away, tried to feed the neighbors' cats, but someone had gotten there before I did, and I am preparing to leave for Maisons-Alfort to spend the afternoon with Baccarat. My friend will join me there, and Sam will come later, after work. Her surgery is the day after tomorrow, but this is one way we would never have asked Baccarat to open her heart if it weren't the only way to save her life. We need to be with her as much as we can so that she knows her hanging on is worthwhile, and because we can't imagine being anywhere else right now.

I have learned some things this year. The garden taught me before I ever needed to know it that sunlight is beautiful from the shade; it is the thing that makes green and every other color what it is meant to be. My own cancer taught me that to sit in the shade and look at the sunlight where I love it most, even more than on my skin (although I will confess to permitting myself to stand in it for a few moments while I water, or do something else -- I am not a saint), on my flowers, or shimmering and leaping on the waves of the ocean, is its own joy. Baccarat's illness has taught me not to miss a second of life's joy or love, although I will fail this lesson finally because we all do, caught in our hurts and our grievances.

Maybe, though, the appreciation for the love she offered, the joy of her running and selfishness (her only selfishness, aside from wanting all the pets destined for her mother) with a soccer ball, jumping up to rest her paws on the gate to greet the schoolchildren and delight them through the grill with her being there for them while they wait for the bus or get off and join their mothers, her ignorance of our lines drawn between ourselves, drawing none herself, will be stronger than our own reluctances to love and to take interest without condition and without measure.

Non, c'est pas facile d'avoir le ballon quand Baccarat joue, and we didn't even know these people.

Allez, Bacs, encore un effort et une bonne nouvelle jeudi et on ira jouer!

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