Marie’s old house.
Years ago, I studied with a professor, who was also a friend. I have had many professors who were friends. Well, they thought of me as a friend, while I continued to call them by their formal names long after I had graduated.
In my last program, I noticed most of the professors didn’t care what you called them, first name or whatever. Its a generational thing, but coming from an older cohort, I had some misgivings about this familiarity.
One of my professors who taught Spanish became a friend when I was an undergraduate. She was very friendly with me to the point that I was uncomfortable. Sometimes she would complain about her mother which I have always found distasteful. I mean if you can respect your Mom, who can you respect?
Anyway, this prof, I shall call RH was also astute when she wanted to be. One day, she shared that a long time friend of hers and she were drifting apart. ‘We visit each other every year but when we get together, we spend all our time doing. Its go-go-go. When we lived near each other, we could spend hours together doing nothing but being.’
Over the years I have pondered these words more than once. When I was younger, I went-went-went…jobs, school, kids, house and from time to time a husband. Through it all, I believed that when I retired, I would have more time to stop and smell the flowers.
My little walks with my dog Johnny everyday may not sound like I’m living the life of a happy person, but I am. Daily, I notice the changes in the gardens scattered around my neighborhood…daffodils in bloom in one yard, just coming into bud up the street; the Quince bursting into bloom in Pat’s yard; the Mums breaking through the soil in Dawn’s yard; the Downey Woodpecker on the tree in Cathy’s yard, the noisy Cardinal in Kathy’s yard yelling “Cheer, Cheer,Cheer;” the Chickadees flying through the back yards making their stuttering noises. Oh my goodness, the new neighbor’s Rotweiller jumps up and scares me and Johnny. Someday, he will take that fence down.
Blossom of a quince (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Every spring a different neighbor is gone. Marie, the lady archivist up the street died last fall. Pat took her white and yellow Garfield cat in when she died. Marie’s heirs have been renovating her old house all winter, preparing it for a spring sale. This morning, when I passed, Garfield the cat was sitting next to the front door…waiting for his dead mistress to open it. So sad. But cats know the meaning of being if anybody does.