A Day in January

We walked onto the packed snow. I worried my boots wouldn’t keep me warm enough. I worried my hat looked too silly. I worried the ceremony would be too long and the cold would freeze my worried grin on forever. I worried my expression would be perceived as worry rather than grief. Then, I looked up and I saw them all. They were lined up around the grave staring into the empty, in that uncomfortable state when you are surrounded by loved ones that you haven’t seen in a long time, suspended between the distance and the proximity. Plumped with so much love, yet unable to mend, we all stood silent and waited for someone to say something.

The silence, which seemed unbearable at first, opened the door to the present: my grandmother was being buried then and there, now. My worries had prevented me from catching the essence of the present moment (or perhaps was I unintentionally clinging on to fabricated worries to avoid the present truth). I paused and considered the handful of absorbed grins around the grave. We were all there, all the people my grandmother brought to the world: her four children and her three grand-children. The mere reunion of us all was enough to make this a grand event. And the absence of her four great-grand-children was a clear reminder that we will all come and go and eventually be forgotten by generations to come.

The present is what matters most. Your presence. Here. Now.