The grasses glow as October light falls sideways against their end-of-season mix of colours. More often than not, the fall winds rustle their drying stalks and fronds.
I smile a little ruefully. Although I’m planting tulips in anticipation of new life next spring, death is all around me this week.
A former colleague of the Big Guy had a series of final send-offs from family, friends, and retired members of the military.
A friend succumbed to pancreatic cancer: too young, for sure, but maybe not any too soon.
A neighbour’s elderly father went home from hospital to round-the-clock nursing care and the certain knowledge that his extended race is close to being run.
The director at a local theatre company stood up at the end of Friday night’s performance and spoke of the news just that morning of the death of the Irish Chekhov.
And the community garden, which erupted cheerily in the spring (Wasn’t that just last week?) and then Just Wouldn’t Quit — at least when it came to producing weeds all summer (Surely that was just yesterday!) — has begun to slide, calmly and beautifully, into winter.
Death is all around me this week.
I guess it always is.
As I poke bulbs into soil deep enough, I hope, to discourage predation, I consider the coming spring. I have no apprehensions, but I know I cannot be certain that I will see these tulips bloom, and not just because of the squirrels.
And as I plant, I also consider the grasses, admiring their fall colours, even enjoying the gentle death rattle made by their stalks and the wind. Whenever it comes, I hope that I will slide into my own inevitable winter as beautifully, as peacefully, as rightly, somehow.