Photos by courtesy of Daily Mail, i.dailymail.co.uk
It’s strawberry picking time. As the longest day flows into the evening and the sunset paints the sky with strokes of peach and apricot hues, we settle into our viewing spot on top of the hill. Munching on berries, washed down with wine, we wait for the full moon to appear on the eve of the solstice. A rare, natural combination, some say last took place on the Summer of Love in 1967.
You and I were so young then. We did not know what the future held for us. Our dreams inspired by California Dreaming, the floral prints on my dress and your shirt matched the flowers in our long hair. We wanted peace in the world. It didn’t happen, did it? Still, we had love and peace in our home, so I can’t complain.
Our work is done now, we are retired. It’s time for our children to bring up theirs. Their lives are tougher than ours. The world is in a state of chaos. The flower children have become senior citizens, with disillusionment in their eyes. Yet, when I look into yours, I still see the same sparkle that hasn’t faded over the years. You never give up, do you? Your optimism is infectious, despite the sinister illness that threatens to steal you from me. I’m done with protesting and denial. After the struggle to hold back tears and anger, acceptance arrived and sorrow moved into the background. To enjoy you and the last of our days, my only wish now, I don’t want to distress you with my grief.
A honey-coloured moon rises from behind the island. I hold your hand, not knowing whether we’ll see another summer solstice together again. I hope to, but- Threads of shimmering beams sketch a spiral avenue of light on the water. It widens as the orange sphere ascends the sky. This must be the road to enlightenment you talk about. You have taught me to look at things from a different perspective.
The golden colour of the moon turns to white as it moves higher. A pleasure boat crosses the bay, melodies and laughter lingering in its wake. Is this what life is about, leaving traces of our existence behind, only to be remembered by those we love?
Love, you say, is precious and rare. Some don’t know how to nurture it. We have managed to cherish ours, despite the challenges of married life.
It’s time to go home now, my love. You need to rest and build up strength. I will not think of tomorrow. Being in the moment keeps me going. I won’t dwell on what I’ll do or how I’ll cope without you. I’ll deal with that when the time comes.
You give me that smile again, the one that warms my heart. You’ve read my thoughts and you say, “We should come back here, on the next full moon.”
I release the brake of the wheelchair and turn it around. I push it gently down the path. One moment at a time.