Loss, losing, lost; loose, loosing, found. I am losing, losing every day—each hour as it goes by:
My calendulas and marigold, as the summer sun becomes the cooler autumn sun, and moves across the sky nearer the horizon.
My favorite shoes grow shabby, then shabbier and finally fall apart.
My once smooth, soft skin becomes rough, spotty and wrinkled.
My pepper hair surrenders to a briny assault.
My hopes of becoming really organized have been mislaid, lost.
I know about loss, big loss:
My parents and my grandparents, of course, and now, my two brothers are both gone. A young cousin, his life newly reclaimed from drug abuse, swept out to sea in the undertow of a huge wave bringing news of an approaching hurricane off the North Carolina shore. Friends, some known since primary school, some close, some less so, but all part of the fabric of my life—gone.
I know about little losses, some very painful:
My cats: Boots, Tiny, Tiger and Bozo, Fluffy, Mischief, Tigger I, Obadiah, Tigger II,Tranquility, Rosie (for Franklin Delano). And things: the little cameo from the gold ring, given to me by my grandmother’s friend and lost while playing with Fluffy. My wedding ring, lost while swimming and playing in the water with my children. A fantastic mask of feathers and glittering jewels from my daughter. A Christmas ornament made by my son, crushed.
I know the loss of places: My homes, fifteen of them, from Vermont to Florida, from Wales to Japan, where I lived as a baby, a child, a young woman, an old woman. However, my homes of long ago, transformed though they may have been by their new owners, remain in my mind as they were, so vivid that I can enter them, see motes dancing in the sun as it filters through the maple leaves, the windows and the oak shutters, then splashes across the book-piled table, along the carpeted floor and up the legs of the chaise longue, whose leafy pattern was faded long before I had ever seen it, smell the books, the carpet and the dust dancing the limitless dance in the sunbeam.
They are lost . . .
But they are still mine, loose, loosed from the reality of every day, so free, free to stay with me where I can find them at will, until I, too, am free, and all the things of this world will drop from me as I am loosed into the air to dance freely along the beams of sunshine and moonlight.