Days Gone By


poppies and  later flowers 026


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.








12 responses »

  1. ; the beginning image of daylilies promised a lovely post, and it is indeed lovely. your friend was a walking angel, always coaxing the best out of his friends and loved ones. he is surely smiling over your shoulder now and will join your other loved ones who are in your VIP cheering section…’

    when i lived in the northern hemisphere, i often was wistful to live from march until september in the northern hemisphere and september until march in the southern… i have managed to land ‘splat’ in the middle, where the daylight hours remain the same year round, and the temps never tip below freezing unless i am on a mountain peak (not!).. i miss the longer days of summer, but i don’t miss the short cold days of winter…

    it was ‘cold’ here on the coast last night – surely a frigid 65 degrees!

    • Sleeping is lovely when the temperature drops this time of year. When I was on Grand Turk Island, the temperature dropped to about 65 degrees, and all the residents pulled out their parkas!
      Bill will be sorely missed here, by me and many others!
      Thanks for reading, Lisa, and for you kind comments!

  2. Read this with a tear in my eye for your departed friend. What a blessing he was in your life. I am so glad you saw each other, in passing, just two days before his passing. Fall often seems a time of goodbye doesn’t it? The seasons change, our life changes, and so must we move on, one way or another. Blessings to you.

  3. You wrote such a lovely tribiute to a wonderful friend. I’m sure he knew how much you meant to him. He will be sorely missed on Beaver Island make no mistake about that.

    I loved reading this post. Inspitational and insightful. Really, really nice.

  4. I’ve heard others express this same feeling of melancholy at this time of year, Cindy. I am sorry to hear about the death of your friend. It’s so hard to say goodbye to those who’ve been a precious part of our life, who’ve helped us along. Blessings…

    • Yes, this does seem to be the season for melancholy. Nature is giving it’s last hurrah, and my mood follows the lead. It’s always difficult to say good-bye to friends, especially when death makes it a lasting farewell. Thanks for reading, and for your comments!

  5. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. It’s hard to lose someone this time of year, for some reason. Like the fleeting summer, life is so precious and should be cherished with each moment. Easier said than done, that’s for sure. Remember the joy that all before you have shared, and pass it along.

    • Yes, that’s good advice…”remember the joy that all before you have shared, and pass it along…” and the best way to honor those who are gone. Thanks for reading, Sara, and for your comments!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s