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April Snow #1
Originally uploaded by Theorris
After a long end of the semester event-filled day at my place of employment, a colleague offered to give me a ride home--well that is stretching it a bit, given that I asked her to give me a ride home since I am "on her way."
"Sure," she said without hesitation. In retrospect, I don't think I offered enough thanks for her kind agreement, given that instead of arriving home as early as I did, I would have had to face the evening mass-transit schedule, that has been hit hard by our tough economic times, and might get me home just in time to go to bed.
As it was, I was dropped at my door step in ample time to actually get some things done.
While we were on the highway, however, I received a text from my sister: "Wow mom died 9 yrs ago today." I felt the phone in my pocket vibrating this message to me, but given that my colleague and I were involved in conversation about Michael Saffran Foer's book Eating Animals, I didn't check it.
Moments later, as I got out of my colleague's car at my house, I felt the vibration again, this time accompanied by my ring tone: an Elk Call.
The elk call on my phone never ceases to bring attention from people when my phone goes off. "Nice!" I often get, or "What the hell is that?" which gives me a chance to tell people about elk, replete with my various elk encounters--all the way from being in Rocky Mountain National Park and hearing their eery call through the darkness, while I was safe in my tent with 5 millimeters of fabric protecting me from Nature, to the sheer silent joy of watching a herd of elk at midnight in the backyard of a good friend many years ago.
My colleague didn't hear my phone, but my salutation and valediction stopped me from pulling the device out of my pocket.
And then the voice mail came as I unlocked my door and unpacked myself.
It was from my sister. "Uncle R--- just died," she began and asked me to call her. Of course you always expect calls like this, but they tend to take you aback. It took me all the way back to when my father, the brother of R--- died, since that is just about what my mother called out to my brother and I in the early morning.
"L----- you're Dad's dead."
I called her back, of course.
The next morning we had a late April storm. I tried to tell myself as I was leaving my house that it was because I was living at a higher elevation now that caused for the snow to stick. Later, I realized, that this wasn't anything typical. This was a full-on storm.
The coincidence of deaths bothers me.
My mother, some nine years ago. My uncle--my father's only surviving brother.
As I walked down the hill, wrapping myself in the void, I came upon a pair of daffodils bowed down in snow.
Later, when I was safe on the bus, I wrote the following in my notebook:
Bowing to the ground
Daffodils shed the spring snow
They rise tomorrow