Walking to the bus this morning, it is a perfect summer’s morning.
The air is cool, the sun is bright but low, the heat of the day hidden for now in the bluest sky.
It is beautiful, even with traffic, even knowing the heat will come, even with a day in an office ahead.
But today is not just any day; it is the birthday of someone very special who is no longer here. The first birthday will always be the worst – at least, I hope so.
I remember that this is one facet of grieving – feeling this disconnect between inside and out; memories and feelings that don’t match the outside world.
Nothing has changed, yet everything has.
This sunny busy optimistic suburb is a long way from home, a long way from what we have lost. (It is not just me – I imagine us as a web of people, all across this city, up in the high country, across the continent, who will look at the date today and remember, and in so doing will strengthen the shared memories and past that lie between us all.)
Here, on a birthday, I am too far away, unable to go to the place that would offer both comfort and pain.
And I am also too close, for those hills and that skyline and the sound of that river are just there, as they will be forever.