Here it is, the first of September.
Another summer season gone.
These flowers open and bloom for one day.
Sometimes I notice how beautiful they are.
Sometimes I pay attention to all of the blossoms, and how many buds are waiting to open.
Too often I see how many spent blooms need to be removed.
Maybe that’s the gardener in me.
Maybe it has more to do with age, or just my perspective of the world.
I find myself – too often – looking with pensive sadness at days gone by, unretrievable, rather than the days ahead.
Rather, even, than this present, precious day.
September is a time of change on Beaver Island.
The Labor Day weekend marks the end of our tourist season. Children are soon going back to school. Summer residents and visitors are packing up and closing cabins. There is a hint of Fall and the premonition of Winter in our cool nights and chilly mornings. The growing season is nearing its end.
This is a time of good-byes.
My birthday, falling near the end of August, gets my mind going to times past and years gone by.
The melancholy persists with the end of Summer and all the changes it brings.
Punctuated, this year, by the death of a dear one.
Bill Cashman was a good friend to Beaver Island. Map-maker, builder, writer, historian…Bill wore many hats, and wore them all with a dapper sensitivity to this island and its people. He had a keen knack for seeing and encouraging the strengths of any individual. He was a champion of lost-causes and long-shots, and often doggedly pursued an idea that he deemed worthy when all around him were prepared to abandon it.
Bill was a long and good friend to me. He hired my husband and took an interest in our family. He supplied some of the materials to build our little house. He supported me early on in my artistic endeavors, and later helped to set up a website to feature my Collagraph work. He visited my house several times to see my new work and take notes on my processes. Bill encouraged and promoted my writing, through all my lazy, procrastinating tactics to avoid it.
I ran into Bill in the Post Office just two days before he died. Both on the run, we exchanged pleasantries.
He’d been battling cancer for quite some time. He was skinny and pale, but had a bounce in his step and a twinkle in his eye.
“Good!” was his emphatic response to my “How are ya?”
Bill knew how to appreciate the present moment!
As we move into the shortening days of Autumn, through sad good-byes and seasons past, I aspire to do the same.