29 July 2010

"The first day of the rest of our lives"

Window on Delancey Street (Society Hill), Philadelphia, July 2010

200 Block of Delancey St., Philadelphia
My dad, my brother, and I are grieving together yet in our own ways. On the "first day of the rest of our lives" as Dad put it yesterday, my brother took a long bike ride out to the Philadelphia suburbs and back, my dad stayed in and watched movies, and I took a photo walk. I ended up walking some of the same routes that I have walked for 25 years, often with Mom; she loved walking and went just about everywhere on foot, and among her favorite routes was Delancey Street between 2nd and 4th Streets. Three Bears Park between 3rd and 4th almost always has children there -- my kids have played there during our visits -- and is just one of Philadelphia's many green spots. This is a beautiful city, and I found much peace walking today. I was a bit lonely, though; I miss Mom and our many walks together along these streets, most often to run errands but sometimes just to get out and talk. It seemed easier, more comfortable to talk while walking together than just sitting; Mom always had so much energy, an energy I don't quite possess, but we both have always had a compulsion to be outside, which is probably why we enjoyed our walks together so much.

I also went up to Washington Square, one of Philadelphia's four original city squares (the other three are Rittenhouse, Franklin, and Logan), a great place for people-watching and just meditating. One of my favorite trees is here: a gigantic sycamore, one of the many that line Philadelphia streets and offer cool shade in summer and beautiful variegated bark all year. We do have them in New Mexico, but nothing like this one.

Tonight after dinner I watered and weeded my mom's garden, which has always been a work of art in itself but suffered greatly this year when a few weeks of dry weather came in during their visit to New Mexico. Mom took such care with her garden; like me, she immersed herself in the process of choosing and tending plants, placing ornaments, and patiently evolving a design as plants grew and changed over the years. Since Dad plans to sell the house there isn't much point in replacing the plants that have died, so tomorrow I'll put on her gloves and take them out. Just another thing she had to let go when she left this earth, and another thing for us to miss about her. Her climbing rose, the same variety as the one below that I photographed in Washington Square today, did survive and in fact is thriving, which pleases me very much.


Anonymous said...

Am sending so much love your way Anna. Those photos are just gorgeous, so rich. And she has such a rich life.
~Sue Berger

KeLLy aNN said...

Love the photos.
Can you take the rose with you?