So all week I have been in dread of this day. One of my best friends and I actually took off for the coast of the Carolina's to get me away from everything last Sunday afternoon. A lazy place that was made famous by the likes of Robert Mitchum and Robert DeNiro. Its called the Cape Fear area. A quiet and sleepy place on the coast. No plans and no hurry. When we got in the car we told no one when we would return.
I walked the beach and looked at the water. I felt small like one must beside something so big and powerful as the Atlantic. The sun was setting and the moon rising at the same time. Shells in the sand left by the tide and footprints that are taken. One must find peace in such a place. I did just that with a good book and a pack of smokes. No internet access or cable television. In the quiet of my head, I was alone with myself.
The next day we got up and moved through the town. Methodically looking at souvenirs and antiques. Nothing to do and no where to be. We went down and sat on the benches of the river between the ocean and the intercoastal waterway. I watched the birds and the people. A big pair of sunglasses, a black ball cap and some 50 SPF. When we got back I crashed and slept for a fitful few hours and then up for the evening. Dinner at a nice but casual place. Laughter on the pier watching some unknown fireworks.
When we decided to come home on Wednesday, we took our time before leaving. Singing in the car. A wonderful lunch and some driving around looking at things we want to return to see again. Some hot sauce for D’s collection. A fruitless search for t shirts and flip-flops. Nothing to stress. A happy road-trip home.
I walked into the apartment and thought that the heaviness would greet me at the door like a forgotten house-guest. That the stench of grief would be on my bed linens when I pillowed my head that night. When the sun rose I awoke with an unfamiliar expression. I found myself humming as I made my coffee and stepped out in the sun for a smoke. There was a new fragrance surrounding me though just a whiff. It was so unfamiliar to me that it took me until today to decipher its perfume.
You see, today is my birthday. My second as a widow. But I am healing. I am reaching. Last week I walked outside and noticed a Magnolia in bloom. I thought, well damn, that’s late. But a veil on my heart lifted in that moment. I am more than certain she thought she would never find it. She was roughly handled by the gardeners shears and suffered the loss of parts of herself. I know that she thought she would die from her wounds. But she is beautiful at this moment and the spotlight is on her because she is the only of her kind in bloom. She has found her spring. I, like that magnolia am late, but I am slowly coming out of my wounds and the cold winter of my grief. The unfamiliar perfume is that of the Magnolia and what it smells of is hope.