To my Dearest M,
You… I know not what I did to deserve the undying love you gave to me. If you are reading this, then I am gone, and you mourn. And you must mourn. It is as much a part of existence as a sunflower bows its stem; the weight of purpose bringing its petals towards the earth.
Remember that day, when you asked me to wear that sundress, a white and yellow gingham with billowy layers and embroidered knots, and my straw hat with matching ribbon. We went to see the newborn foal out at Green Mountain Ranch. On the way, we passed a field of sunflowers bursting with golden pride against a bluebird sky. Their umber faces urging themselves taller than the scarecrow, following the sun as if worshippers to the solstice. Heliotropism, you called it.
You told me, on cloudy days the young blossoms will turn toward each other -- giving each other loving light. And then you gave me a squinty smile and a kind laugh. I believed you for a moment. Your teasing waylaid as the wind tousled my hat from its perch; you captured it moments from a lifetime of loss. Then, you bent on one knee and told me I was your sunlight. Yes, we had many good years of basking in our homemade sunshine.
Remember now, our time as a calendar with a beginning, and an end; seasons and holidays; births and deaths; foaling Saturdays and lazy Sundays. But, on that day, every year, I know you will cry. Promises are for fools, but promise me, on that day, you will let your tears dry by gentle breezes. For that is my kiss -- be with me at that moment, and promise me that after my breathless caress has evaporated, all your other moments are filled with life.
You see the world through a camera lens; you see not the flower, the horse, the tree, or the mountain -- you see copper carolla, fawny velvet, evergreen boughs, and blue inversions; you capture the moment worth a thousand words. My darling, I am no longer the object in focus; I am the blended background — the structure of color that adds depth to your frame. Capture me only for that moment and then capture tomorrow.
Remember that day as a portrait of beauty -- indelible and ethereal, present and ephemeral. I leave a part of me, and I take a part of you -- captured in memory. But time passes and landscapes change -- bask and take more photographs. Leave me in a frame, down a hallway, propped on an old credenza; find me on a cloudy day when the thought of me upturns your darkest mood like a sunflower to its mate -- and give my reflection a squinty smile.
You gave me a thousand and one seasons of love. Thank you for your love.
Please, love foolishly again.
Marcy S. Wood, MFA candidate, DU-UCOL. Marcy loves hiking and yoga. A Colorado native, she decided to live and work in the Rocky Mountain majesty of Ouray. Her children are near complete and skipping to places far and wide. She writes with her dogs curled up next to her feet. Find out more about Marcy at www.MarcyWood.com