Letter From Columbia County 09 09 15 Thinking about life, ruminating on its joys…

It is getting dark as I sit here on my deck, there are still some small glimmers of light off the creek and the sky to the east is pearl grey. A wind has come up in the last few minutes, a bit of blessed relief after a day when it hit 95 degrees with humidity nearly as high.

It has been a gentle day, spent here at the cottage and in its environs. I woke late for me; the alarm went off and I continued to hit the snooze alarm, up until the moment the plumber arrived. He will come on Friday and replace the device that increases my water pressure. Until then, I am to use as little water as possible. I feel a bit like a pioneer.

A few weeks ago I went to an event for the Hudson Library that was a joint venture of DISH, a relatively new store in town on lower Warren Street and the wonderful Olde Hudson, run by my friend Dena. At the event, I spotted something that would make a wonderful Christmas present for my friend, Nick. I returned today to buy it as well as other things that went into the armoire that is in the guest bedroom. In it I place gifts that I have collected throughout the year for Christmas giving.

After dropping shirts at the cleaners, I went to Lowes for some cleaning supplies I hadn’t found at the grocery store yesterday. Summer is gone; Halloween is here. I was met at the entrance by all sorts of Halloween supplies. At CVS there were displays of Halloween candy. The year is moving on.

Relish, my favorite little sandwich joint, has just moved to their winter hours, closing an hour earlier than before. Winter hours? It’s 95 degrees out there! But yes, the world is moving on. Summer is unofficially over.

As I mentioned yesterday, a few leaves have begun to turn. Acorns are falling all around me. One hit the ancient metal chair to my right and scared me.

I am relishing sitting here on the deck, with the wind blowing, all too aware that the days that I can do that are now numbered. So I am doing the best to enjoy it. After the plumber left this morning, I was out here, reading the Times, sipping my coffee. It was a most pleasant way to start the day.

Now it is getting dark and I am here ending the day, sipping a martini and thinking about life.

The Week is one of my favorite magazines and I read in it an essay by Oliver Sacks, the doctor who wrote “Awakenings,” made into a movie starring the late, great Robin Williams. He wrote as he was dying; it was filled with the sense of wonder of having been alive, of having made his own unique journey through this thing called life, a mystery that we often fail to appreciate. As he was dying, he viewed his life as a rich experience and prepared to go gently into that good night.

Now that I am entering what is the third and final act of my life, I hope that I can face the reality of my own inevitable death with the same awareness that Oliver Sacks did, appreciating that he had been alive.

In the last year, I have learned such lessons of gratitude. That I am alive this day, that I have the resources to survive this day, that my health is good, that I can see and breathe and resonate with the world and give something to it.

My friend, Medora Heilbron, mentioned last week in our weekly call that she does her best to leave in her wake, goodness and gratitude, shown in courtesy to clerks and strangers and the people she loves. I work to do the same.

I do my best to remember the names and the faces of the people who I interact with, such as Heather and Dana at Relish and the cab driver I met yesterday. I do my best to be easy for people who have to interact with the public because so many people don’t make it easy.

Night falls. I am joyful. I hope you are too.

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One Response to “Letter From Columbia County 09 09 15 Thinking about life, ruminating on its joys…”

  1. Anthea Says:

    There’s something about your letters that makes me want to read more n more! I can picture every little thing! N oh I watched Kinky Boots this evening… Was surprised that I liked it… Not the way I loved the phantom but I did like it! Cyndi lauper 😍❤️❤️

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