Winter Warmth


Warmth in picture form?

Four years–and untold miles and tears–ago today, our family felt the Equatorial sun.  We saw birds enfolding freshly hatched offspring.  Sea lions lay together, nuzzling their sand-dusted babies.  On rocks a few feet away we saw a sea lion wriggle from the warmth of his mother’s womb into the dazzling light.

At home a blizzard filled the skies and obliterated the sun.

But where we walked we could still feel the warmth of Jim’s humor and his very touch, hands radiating heat, his wedding band glinting gold.


Changing Seasons: Summer to Spring Segue

Fall  Edging In (c) SMG

My husband Jim’s diagnosis hit us along with summer’s pulverizing heat.  Coming out of the air-conditioned hospital to lean against a cement pillar and weep was like stepping through a portal onto the tarmac in San Cristobal.

For me the summer was a whirlwind: physicians, surgical procedures, hospitals, chemotherapy, pharmacies and prescriptions, paperwork, imaging and re-imaging.

It was exhaustion–not pain or nausea, nor even a side-effect that made drinking cold liquid feel like swallowing crushed glass–that most distressed my husband as he endured the worst of the treatment attempts: having to sleep for so long meant to him a day slipping through his fingers, among precious few seasons of such days. Continue reading “Changing Seasons: Summer to Spring Segue”

Deep-Purple Greens

I Spy with my little eye something that casts light and shadows like magenta sun-rays. . . .

I wish I had taken a picture of the purple cauliflower.

Some images are as indelible in my mind as they would be had they been photographed and printed for me to look at daily, but I have to rely on words to describe them and  cannot otherwise convey those images to anyone else.

Sometimes the wonder of an image comes in its defiance of expectations, as it did with the  deep-purple cauliflower served every night during our last family trip with Jim.

I had never seen or even imagined greens (in their incarnation as a vegetable side dish)–or nearly anything else in nature–of such a pure, deep violet hue.   Purple cauliflower on the equator: that alone might have been enough of a wonder for me.

I Spy something that reminds me of Sideshow Bob. . . .

Continue reading “Deep-Purple Greens”

Solitario Jorge

Land Tortoise (c) December 2010
Stephanie Glennon

While my husband was dying–in fact while he had fewer than three months left with us, though we all held hope for longer–we all packed up for his dream trip, which instantly became ours.

Along the way, we met The World’s Most Interesting Man (the real thing) and, from a distance, encountered Lonesome George.

Lonesome George is a giant land tortoise thought to be the last of his species.  While he has plush accommodations at the Charles Darwin Research Center, including his own pool, he has no mate.

It is not for lack of trying; unseemly public attention has been brought to his romantic travails.  Tortoise carapaces, we learned from the aforementioned Most Interesting Man (who will get his own post one of these days), are uniquely designed in each species, and lack of fit is an insurmountable issue (as it were) in successful tortoise mating.  George  requires, literally, an engineering feat to partake of “joys with like relation.” Continue reading “Solitario Jorge”

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