The chime of the anniversary bell

Why is it that when the hot summer weather comes and everything in the garden is in full and healthy spate, I begin to mourn. There is that heavy feeling. I don’t know what it is, for a while, and then I remember: it is 2 weeks away from the 4th August – again. The 4 th of August, the death day for all my lost babies. Why did I always lose them on the same day? the same time? What is it about this time of year? I don’t know.

What I do know is that as the seasons turns from winter to spring from spring to summer, each year I have a moment when I must turn and remember, remember my little lost loved ones, speak to their souls, and speak to mine too.

And I have to do it. My body compels me, even in my busy happy life, it compels me with gentle but firm tug, to turn aside, be still and remember. My friend tells me her African friends would say I need to visit my bush spirit. It is not to be morbid, not to drag up the past, but in a sense to ensure that it stays in the past. Acknowledged, remembered, and given its place, the losses of the past need not spoil the future or dominate the present. Except today of course, when the call comes.  It is to stay well that I need to pay attention when my body chimes the anniversary bell.

I reflect that it keeps me human too. Working on a strategic level, campaigning and lobbying, running a business, I can lose touch with Real Life, Real Things –  that is, where humanity touches humanity, where mother reaches to mother, woman to woman. These days, these special days when my bush spirit calls me to sit down with my dead loved ones, keep me human, keep me listening, keep me whole.

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