shadow

DSC_0464-Pink-dogwood-blossom-in-sunlight-shadow-Wyncote-Pennsylvania-USA-121x187Today’s WP Daily Prompt is once again synchronistic. This weekend I celebrate my 50th reunion along with nearly 40 women with whom I had the privilege to graduate from high school.

This is indeed a joyous occasion. For some of us, friendships forged back then have remained bedrocks of our lives since. For many others, reunions have served as an opportunity to rediscover one another. It touches me, how someone I hardly could identify back then has turned into someone entirely captivating! While I stand somewhat to the side during animated renditions of ‘remember when …‘ (I attended only the final three years), I am front and center when it comes to open-hearted re-uniting.

I am curious. I am moved. I am blown away. I feel like a whole new world of connection and possibility has opened before and within me.

We are lucky. We are lucky to have lived so long and so well. To have had our incredible education, our opportunities to deepen as individuals and expand as productive members of society. We are lucky to be able to gather. And we are lucky to have received a loving chain of messages from those too ill or too far away to join us.

I carry the shadows of loss, hovering like a soft gray cloud. I hold the loss of those I love and had hoped to see. I know the losses of illness and aging that hold some of us captive. Just last week, we lost one of our classmates who had hoped to join us today. Her brain tumor proved more aggressive than anticipated. This morning, I heard from another who cannot join us because her oldest sister is dying.

And I am struck by the mirroring of the day itself with my inner mood as I anticipate greeting those interesting and complex women I have not seen – some of them, at least – since that June day in 1966 when we walked out the school door, dressed in white and clutching our diplomas. For this day has dawned in what I think of as Massachusetts-mixed – the blue sky struggling to emerge past gray clouds. Likewise, buds struggle to burst forth from their grayed stalks in a show of predictability we have come to count upon. Spring follows winter. Yet this spring, a shadow of winter still hangs over us, casting a gentle reminder that some forms of predictability should never be taken for granted.

I will miss those women who cannot be here with us today, regardless of the reasons. They reside in my heart, cradled in both the shadow and the bloom that is life.

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