A cousin’s comment on that post has had me thinking about another essay in the same book, concerning what we take to be coincidental: “I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know. Who can say what it is that’s going on, but I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: ‘You’ve turned up in the right place at the right time. You’re doing fine. Don’t ever think that you’ve been forgotten.’”
Well, it may be wishful thinking on my part, but perhaps I did show up in the right places at the right times today.
I heard whispers and roars, and was led into color and light.
It began early in the morning, as a dollop of sun hit a spot on the floor as light streamed through the outline of a flowering tree Jim had planted. I felt my breath catch when I looked down and saw dancing upon my bare foot a single bright segment of sunlight, quavering from a morning breeze that had shaken the tree through which it shined, forming a shimmering arrow laced with leaves. It pointed me outside, towards that sepia swath I described only weeks ago.
The swath is not sepia anymore.
Only handfuls of straw stalks remain at bottom edges where they are being pushed out by broad, healthy leaves which exuberantly have erupted to replace the sadly drooping flora I had been unable to envision recovering green.
I wrote then: “Maybe this particular constellation of plants does not bloom until far later than the others, and might someday be restored to something along the color spectrum. But I simply cannot envision these straw stalks turning to green any more than I can imagine them being spun into gold. And the drooping fragile rice paper-thin shells of a few remaining flowers seem ready to let go. They look as if they have been pressed for a century between a book’s pages. It seems inconceivable that they could rejoin their colorful neighboring flowering plants.”
Jim fooled me again.
The arrow of light led me to this first-of-the-summer, heart-shaped sky blue blossom, framed by arrowhead leaves on the same plant in whose rebirth I simply could not place faith:
This was not the end of the day’s coincidences.
A navy air show took place in Portsmouth, and my eyes were drawn to the sky for hours. I did not see only jets. I saw an enormous heart:
To the right of the heart, two jets’ trails had formed a wispy thread to a large letter “J.” At the left, two other jet trails curved to form a towering, lopsided heart shape.
Jets were not the only ones flying in formation through azure sky. Aloft were seagulls and starlings; bumblebees, butterflies, and bulbously blue-bottomed dragonflies which glittered in the strong sun just as the jets did as they twisted and the rays hit silver.
Just after three jets flew circled in to a common landing strip from different directions, three indigo buntings replaced them in a tight arrow formation, as if to announce, “This is how it’s done.”
Were it not for the treeline below and these airborne travellers, it would have been hard to distinguish the sky from the white-capped ocean waves Jim loved.
Something in my subconscious tugged at me well before the end of the air show, this time beckoning me home.
Just as I was approaching the final turn, I looked up and caught my breath again: from a weather perspective it didn’t make any sense at all, but there it was, another arrowhead, the only thing vividly lit and colored in a vast sea of bright blue and white–a single, compact rainbow cloud behind wires strung like a ship’s mast. It was pointing the way home.
(c) 2012 Stephanie M. Glennon