The Season Changes

 

Finally, after a long and unpleasant winter, the first flowers of spring are up, and we are able to plant the small impatiens seedlings that will grow into large globes of blossoms by the end of August.  My mother has planted these flowers around our house each spring for the past thirty years, but this year, my father will not be with us to enjoy them.

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The season change causes us to weep. Why should we weep any more during the season change than on any other day ?

Unfortunately, I know the answer.

A friend, who lost both parents more than five years ago, said recently, “I’m beginning to forget what they looked liked.”

So, that’s what happens? You forget what they looked like? Insult is added to injury, and the beauty fades away with the pain? No! I prefer the pain, with its clear image of my father as he reclines in his easy chair in front of the TV, as he jokes with his grandchildren, as he sits at the dinner table, or at a restaurant, or behind the wheel of his car, or as he walks in the mall for his daily exercise.  

The change of seasons takes us a little further from the days my father was with us. The budding leaves put a soft cloak over not only the branches, but over those last days of winter and my father’s life, those bitter, awkward and awful days.  The greening of the vegetation forms a magic carpet, an undulating cushion upon which we sit and must stay as it transports us into a new season, whether we want to go or not.

So we weep, knowing that soon we, too, will begin to forget, whether we want to or not. Oh, we’ll have photographs– those flat, frozen, scraps that somehow serve as potent time travel devices.  We’ll have the tangible proof of his existence– ourselves, his accomplishments both tangible and intangible–and we’ll have each other’s prompts that will reassure us that we have not become totally unhinged from our own lives.

Soon, the season will change again, and peak summer will splash intense colors in front of us, such that we’ll not have much room for looking at other things, and then we’ll remember other summers, other changes of seasons.  We’ll smile, and recount stories of family  affairs, and then we’ll know something we do not yet know now.

This summer won’t really be so much different from the others, will it?

 

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8 responses

  1. This is just beautiful. The change of seasons is the passing of time, we grow older and we walk through to our ultimate destiny.
    Most of the memories of our loved ones fade, but few remain sparkling in our minds. I can still see and hear my father as he stood before me when I was about to go to my own house, a newly married woman, ” I want to open my chest and keep you inside” he said. And it still bring tears to my eyes.

  2. Thank you, ~W~ for your response. I was unsure about posting this, but I’m glad I did, even if no one but you has read it. Fathers and daughters have a special bond, no?

  3. This post introduces you as a biologist or something like. I just remembered my sister’s notebooks who studies biology.
    Her notbooks are always full of colors..

  4. No, Shahrazad, I am not a biologist, but we have many flowers, trees, and grasses surrounding our home, and they requires a lot of work during the summer. My mother has the “green thumb”, which she inherited from her mother. I do not know how to do anything except cut the grass, so that is my duty.

    The colors of flowers are truly spectacular. We take them for granted, until we stand and look at them with intention. Then we realize how magnificent they are– another one of Allah’s gifts.

  5. You write beautifully, Marahm. The arrival of each season is a subtle reminder of times past, but many people do not take the time to notice and ponder, as you have done so eloquently. As far as forgetting: never. I lost my father when I was 12, which was decades ago, and I have never forgotten his face, his voice, his breath, his laugh. And I never will. I doubt that you will either.

  6. A lovely and inspiring post, tinged with sadness, and just the changing seasons and like life itself, all too fleeting. Alhamdulillah, that the Creator of the flowers and the of us all does not forget.

    May Allah bless you and your family this mother’s day. Ameen.

    Ya Haqq!

  7. I read in one of your posts before that you work with microscope. (that’s why i thought u r biologist.)

    You know, i always feel that those who observe things much little to be seen by our eyes (Microscope) and those who work with very huge things (Telescope) have much more wisdom about the beauty of the world.

    It’s what i got when i went out of physics formulas to study Geo Physics.
    I saw how much life is much more colorful when i’ve not put my head in books engaging with formolas and instead i OBSERVED colorful stones and their foundations and their little beautiful lines in the lab.

    I can say it changed whole my look and my life.. 🙂

  8. Hello –

    Loved your essay – thoughtful words, excellently crafted musings. Though it’s my Mom that I’m dearly missing, your words speak to anyone who is mourning a parent.

    The photo is a perfect addition. Intensely colorful, “alive!” – though it is “still,” somehow – I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s a visual of the stillness that you feel when you’ve lost someone. You recognize that there is beauty around you, yet you feel the painful sadness.

    Thank you for an excellent passage, as always.

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