|Adieu, l'été doux ...|
As I write, in these ultimate days of the summer of 2010, "The Summer that Wasn't," my much-loved and much-missed wife is sitting in JFK International, waiting to board a delayed flight that will take her half-a-world away, to West Africa. Poor thing. Continent hopping is a grueling bit of business.
I dropped her off at the airport early this morning. The image of her --standing on her toes, waving me farewell, in her bright red hoodie and jeans, backpack slung over her shoulder, her free arm raised --is imprinted on my mind's eye. Her form was a strobe in the scan of people bustling to and fro. That sight and her absence, which I feel deeply, have coursed rivulets down my cheeks all day.
When she comes home, this "Summer that Wasn't" will be long gone, a memory tinged with regret for unrealized potential. Whatever gods might yet reign in the deeps of mighty Pacifica have not been generous. The clouds and the rain and the unseasonable coolness have never been far away. Late summer showers portend a cold, wet autumn.
News is all bad these days. Nativists and Know-Nothings mustering themselves for one last witch hunt. Indentured servitude for the masses. This fall is likely to see a short-lived triumph for the ignorant.
Dark days ahead. Nothing to do but soldier on.
So, I went out for a walk this evening. Muggy, warm and cloudy. Twilight was already gnawing at the remains of the day when I got home. But it isn't so bad. As one gets older, disappointment becomes just another of the little aches and pains, both physical and emotional, that cling like lampreys, feeding on the spirit. Ultimately they weigh us down, return us to Earth.
My advice? Enjoy the struggle!