Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Rites of Spring

I got a panicked call from a close friend (who wants to remain anonymous). Her cat had died suddenly. She'd had this cat for most of her adult life and was having a hard time with it. So I decided to go with her to a pet cemetary up near Daisen. Being O-Higan, it was busy, with quite a few people having brought small dogs with them, visiting the grave of the predecessors. The people running the place were almost cold in their efficiency, allowing little time for my friend to process her loss. Literally seconds after cremating her cat, they asked for her thoughts on a burial plot. The questions came out like a sales pitch. My friend seemed upset and needed some time to collect herself. So I took her hand and we walked quietly up a small hill toward the forest. It was a gorgeous day. The sky was empty and the trees were rife with birdsong. Enjoy this, the day seemed to be saying. Then it dawned on me that it was the Vernal Equinox. Day and night, light and dark, in perfect balance. From here, each day will grow brighter and warmer, rushing toward summer and all its joyous vitality.
Heading up that hill, into the beauty of the day, we were taking small steps away from death and choosing to celebrate life.

On the turntable: Dizzy Gillespie, "Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods"

No comments: