“In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds”
Robert Green Ingersoll
No kidding. Last week one of my friends wrote to say she was sorry my father was gone from this world. She said eight years later, she still wants to talk to her dad. I wrote back that my dad wasn’t much of a talker with me, although we really tried the last ten years after he was forced to slow down. And I told her how sad it will be that I can’t call him anymore. Then I wrote, “It’s like he was a mountain that was always there, and now there is a big hole in the landscape of our family.”
Only a shadow where a life was lived.
But one that’s so close, I only need to take a few illusive steps to find the path to wholeness.
Years ago, a friend went to visit her mother in India because there wasn’t much time left and they’d been on different continents for years. The first night they stayed up and talked; they remembered; they brought their past to life through language and stories. She said when she left her family home three weeks later for the last time, she backed out the door to fill her eyes with as much of her mother as she could. And when she walked away, my friend told me, she knew she was that much closer to the mountain of mortality.
No kidding again. Soon, dear readers, I promise to stop writing about mortality. But right now, I wouldn’t be paying attention if I wasn’t.