Saturday, August 8, 2009


Only two months have passed since I lost my Maine Coon cat, Rachmaninoff. He shared my life for 18 years and our bond was very strong. The sorrow comes and goes.

When the crickets rise up in song these late summer evenings, my heart yearns for him, and when the Little Brown bats do their aerial dance as day turns to night, I wish he were here to see them with me. These were his favorite months; his time spent in the garden and woods his reverie. It seems that he should still be here, that I should still be calling and calling as I sometimes had to do when he took his time coming in for dinner. But then I remember how he spent his last days and how grateful he was to come to the end of his life.

The Bluebird’ Rose of Sharon is absolutely studded with blossoms this month. As some fade and fall onto the grass, they seem like great, spent tear drops.

Being in the garden for any length of time has simply been too painful; this was and still feels like Rock territory. His favorite catmint, which I now think of as ‘Rockmint,’ is more lush than in all the years he knew it, literally overflowing from its planter. The fact that he isn't here to enjoy it makes me especially sad. I think of a quote from Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, born this day in 1896:

“Sorrow was like the wind. It came in gusts.”

Rawlings spent many years on a 72-acre orange grove in Florida named Cross Creek. Today, she would be considered an early environmentalist and nature writer. The following passage is from, CROSS CREEK, published in 1942:

"Who owns Cross Creek? The redbirds, I think, more than I, for they will have their nests even in the face of delinquent mortgages. And after I am dead, who am childless, the human ownership of grove and field and hammock is hypothetical. But a long line of redbirds and whippoorwills and blue-jays and ground doves will descend from the present owners of nests in the orange trees, and their claim will be less subject to dispute than that of any human heirs. Houses are individual and can be owned, like nests, and fought for.

But what of the land? It seems to me that the Earth may be borrowed but not bought. It may be used, but not owned. It gives itself in response to love and tending, offers its seasonal flowering and fruiting. But we are tenants and not possessors, lovers and not masters. Cross Creek belongs to the wind and the rain, to the sun and the seasons, to the cosmic secrecy of seed, and beyond all, to time."

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
August 8, 1896 ― December 13, 1953

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