For Susan
May 10, 1951 – September 7, 2015

there is silence now.
i walk the fields,
damp with rain and dew,
to the orchard.
and there
i pace amongst the rows
of apple and pear trees
i went there to be with the stillness.
a stillness that i attempted
to evade.
in the stillness
i am with your passing.
i can now
be with it, hold it
as one does something fragile and sacred
the stillness is palpable.
the days have slowed,
a shift in nature is present.
and it forces me to sit with that
which causes discomfort.
there is barely a breeze.
it tugs, pushes and then rests.
overheard, geese in a perfectly formed v
migrate.
i came to the stillness to hold
your passing.
you, harpist.
you, free improviser.
you, radical.
you, friend.
you, second mother.
you, nurturer.
you, gift giver.
between the rows
i stand motionless.
now and then a pear falls.
its release sends a branch
into motion;
upward and buoyant.
like a conductor’s baton
calling us back
to time, to the moment.
and then, the fruit,
maybe perfect
maybe rotten
… maybe,
… maybe.
hits the ground
with a thud,
unique
personal
perfect.
i left the known
to sit with your illness.
the knowledge of your great
rest that was coming.
with your passing
i take the gift you gave me.
a gift of delving inward.
into the raw
and divine.
a gift of awareness,
of moments and moments
strung together.
like pears hitting
the damp earth.
like a gentle gust
through rain laden leaves.
like a flock of geese
calling out to each other on
their ancient migratory route.
each moment unique.
each occurrence holding a moment
in a moment.
each one not fully adding up
the sum having nothing to do with the parts.
the parts, life in motion,
life awake,
as you rest.