Sunday, September 18, 2005

Tempus Fugit

It turns to fall here in a week, often less; the days lose that lazy drawn-out feeling of summer, evening comes sooner, bringing clouds and fog. The shadows lengthen in the backyard much sooner now than they did. The air is clear and the sky is radiantly blue, but tinged with that deeper shade that promises the cold will come.

Today we had a picnic in the park. We sat on a bench in the weakened glare of the late September sun, watching the ducks and the squirrels in their fall preparations. My daughter and I chased her soccer ball around. Her version of "soccer" is to hurl herself full length on the ball and shield it with her body: "She's a goalie," my husband says. She laughs incessantly as she chases the ball, and as I chase her around on the brilliantly green grass. We eat sandwiches and potato chips. A forward squirrel comes right up to us, begging for provisions to stock her winter larder. She's a mother too, so I share our granola with her (it has dried raisins and cranberry with a sugared glaze). The duck pond has a small "island," so my daughter and I cross tiny bridges and disturb the tranquil ducks. Then we "sneak up" on Papa, who pretends he hasn't heard our daughter, shrieking with joy as we approach him.

Afterwards, my daughter and I bathe together, in the tub that barely holds us both, and she insists on having all of her legions of bath toys. We scrub and rinse each other's backs amidst the clutter of garish plastic fish, turtles, toy boats while Papa takes a nap.

Fall's portents seem especially poignant now. The shortening days and lengthening nights suggest a cold much deeper than winter. Lymph node involvement. A liver lesion now seven centimeters. Constant back pain. The MRI is inconclusive for new treatment, at least for now. We put our faith in the next round of chemotherapy, but winter looms very near.


At 12:41 AM , Blogger Lonely Londoner said...

What a beautiful, poignant post. I've been reading your blog for a while, and I'm thinking of you and the Mr. as autumn comes.

At 3:22 AM , Anonymous mindspin said...

I knew where this post would go from the first line. My heart goes out to you.

At 7:30 AM , Anonymous ehj2 said...

soft achy exhalation.

i can barely breathe on such holy ground. words are always too small.

god bless,


At 3:15 PM , Blogger ABDmom said...

Like mindspin, my heart began to sink as I read the first line. I'm sorry, and I'm thinking of you and your family.

At 3:07 PM , Blogger timna said...

I didn't know from the first line. but once I was reading, I couldn't let go.

fall comes very quickly here, too, but for us, it's just a season. thanks for reminding me to appreciate it.

At 7:40 PM , Blogger academic coach said...

Thinking of you...

At 6:37 PM , Blogger jo(e) said...

Oh, Dorcasina.


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