Yet another fall is bringing yet more endings. A colleague's spouse died last week--just in her sixties, but after a long struggle with Alzheimer's. Another colleague, still in her fifties, died a few days later from a stroke, her youngest grandchild only three weeks old. At today's funeral home visitation, everyone still looked shell-shocked, not having expected that the bubbly woman we had left planning the college's fall craft show would be hit that night with major brain trauma from which she would never recover. A dear friend lost her father to heart failure earlier in the month, while a church friend and yet another coworker are battling cancer. Too much loss. Too much grief.
But this is a time of beginnings, too. Besides the aforementioned grandchild, who today was being doted on by a variety of people, a pair of former students announced yesterday that they are expecting a child. Even the long-suffering spouse and I are starting over, preparing to leave Chipmunk Ridge for a flat in a downtown duplex. As much as we would love to transplant our entire block, we are ready to abandon what has come to feel too much like suburban living: I had not realized the degree to which I would miss streets with wide planting strips between the sidewalks and the cars, and the option of walking anywhere I need to go (with the exception of work, the college being where it is). Downsizing and heading back to the town where I had lived for a quarter-century feels right.
But transplanting is happening. While our move won't take place until the new year, our lawn strips are already home to some favorite plants. This particular new beginning is our first pollinator bed, which next summer should add a little color and life to an old neighborhood.
Stay tuned to see who shows up for the seed and nectar feast.