My daughter phones me.
It is the first of December.
“I couldn’t sleep last night”, she tells me. “I think my body knows what time of year it is.”
She is right. I feel it too.
You see it in the trees. They are grey now. Wooden totems. Fading into silent concert with the barren bushes surrounding them.
The leaves have all fallen. Shoved to the roadside. Brown. Not orange.
The grass is stubby. A confusion of roots and weeds and mud.
The sun will set just after four.
We lost him in December. Her brother. My son.
Time has softened the immediacy of this pain.
But our bodies stiffen with the familiarity of this setting.
A familiarity that lives in our souls.
The knowledge that something magnificent is over. Like the blazing red of the sugar maples. Searing yellow of the aspens. Clear-eyed strength of the steel blue autumn sky.
Somehow his soaring comet veered. And before our eyes followed a path we cannot see. Or understand.
It is December.
We silently remember.