Thanksgiving 2009

Sometimes I marvel at life, the simplicity of it, the complexity of it. I cradle a changing leaf in my palm, seeing the color variations with a child's eyes, breathless with the beauty of it. It looks so simple, this leaf, slender and ovate, and yet I my inner-scientist knows how complex it is, knows about the plant hormones that control abscission and marvels at the capacity of something so fragile to split molecules and excite electrons in order to create sugar from sunlight and air.

Yesterday I was at Kelly's Cove at the very northern end of Ocean Beach, my arm linked with JL's. We watched kite surfers zoom down the length of the beach, pulled by parachute-kites, their boards leaping and writhing along the silvered sea. He'd brought me chanterelles all the way from Sweden -- picked and dried them himself. I took him to Muir Woods and Stinson Beach, top down on a misty day, and willed the sun to come out as I drove with the heat cranked up on the winding road, the engine of the two-seater purring like a big happy cat.

As JL and I walked into the wind I looked up at the bluff that towered over my right shoulder, the bluff that Cliff House is built into, and looked back at the park I'd taken My Beloved to. Sutro Heights Park, where we'd sat on a stone wall overlooking the very spot I stood in and talked about the world the way he sometimes sees it -- the way I experience it most of the time. I remember the joy I felt at realizing that he got it, got me still after all these years. And in some ways, understands me better with the benefit of time and life lived apart.

I feel luminous and loved, grateful for the people in my life. Tomorrow I call my aunt to discuss her recent cancer diagnosis, and offer what help I can. One of my talents is to provide love and comfort, to heal the soul and ease the passing of the spirit. Dying and death can be beautiful and transformative if the loved-ones are in a place of gratitude and joy. I am fortunate to see it so, and to be able to share my vision with others so they are less afraid.