The sun is warm on my skin, and the river sparkles in my eyes. The breeze blows through my newly grown hair, and the grass is cool on my feet.
There are no shoes needed on an afternoon like this.
My lungs breathe deeply, as if outside for the first time in months, as if I missed summer completely, and it changed to autumn while I wasn’t looking.
I did try. I had morning runs around the hospital those weeks in July and August. I had runs through the country when staying at my aunt’s or camping nearby. In August and September. I ran with my puppies at the lake every time I came home, and walked at the river every time I had a break from work.
But grief is a sucker punch, even when you know it’s coming. It feels wrong to run until you can’t breathe, when someone else can’t even move and barely breathes. It feels surreal to follow a normal work schedule to maintain the mundane things of life, like making mortgage payments, when the life that gave me life is ending.
The wall of flowers next to me are bright and happy, but looking closely you can see they are losing their petals, that the petals are almost gone.
I cannot change the past, and I cannot put the petals back. I cannot stop winter from coming.
I can, though, see the tall stems and remember the joys of summer, without complaining about the heat or whining about the drought.
I know the seasons by the feel of the grass on my feet, and I know the Earth by her songs.
The season is changing, and time is about to pass.
The Earth sings a song about the final petal falling.
I cannot undo the past, and I cannot put the petals back, but I can remember the days when bees and butterflies drank from the final days of summer.
I can remember the day the Earth sang that the summer had passed, and that autumn had come.
I can remember that after winter, spring always comes.
I always was a springtime kind of girl.