“Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower, But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee. For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life, And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love, And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.” Khalil Gibran
I sit and watch as my Mom, my sister and my daughter look through a book of photos. My phone rings and when I see who it is I grin with pleasure. Hello I say, and he is there his voice so familiar. The last time we spoke he called me tempered steel. Today he tells me that I am fragile. I say it is by design. I behave like I am not strong so I can earn more kindness, which makes him laugh. The last time I saw him it was with a copy of The Prophet in his hands, standing both proud and teary eyed in front of the congregation. We spoke of it, how favored this book has been in our libraries. I step outside into the brilliant hot pink flowers, the cascading white flowers, the daisies, the bushes heavy with raspberries and the tall stalks of the lavender. He teases me and I tease him back, we make each other laugh, tell our troubles just a little, and our joys. I pick the stems of lavender as he tells me he is watching this movie called Secondhand Lions, I know this movie and suddenly feel compelled to watch it, as I remember I thought when I first saw it that it reminded me of my uncles. I pick lavender blossoms and hold them to my face, breathing in their masculine scent, warm and homey. He makes me laugh aloud and then somehow in the next breath, I say you are making me cry. The way only family can do, switching tears to laughter, laughter to tears. As we say goodbye, I think I hear his voice crack, and I step into the house and I am now crying. Whats wrong is the exclamation why are you crying. I cannot help it I say through my tears and my own cracking voice. I love my family so much. My tears flow for a minute more. Later I tell my Mom that I am nostalgic as hell. I cannot help it.
It is not just my Uncle today, but my dear cousin too. He texts me and tells me he loves me, that he thinks I am beautiful. And I tell him he is making me cry too. He doesn’t know why. But it is because he always thinks of me, even when I neglect to text him. And I love him for his teasing, for his sharing his life with me. For laughing when I tease him back. Later my Mom asks, what did he want. Just to be in touch I say. It is nice to know you are loved.
I walk four miles in the damp evening. With friends and with family and finally alone. Quietly contemplative, the way I like it best. My heart feels heavy as though it is made of lead. And I do not know why. Perhaps if I opened that curio cabinet of my chest cavity this night I would see a heart not made of flesh or of lead but with the alchemy of love is made of polished gold.