Thursday, August 28, 2008

The first chills of autumn come in summer

Life comes in stages, not all of them pleasant.

Ten to fifteen years ago everyone I knew was getting married. The year Natasha and I tied the knot, there were three other couples we were friends with who made it official.

The weddings were followed within a few years by a prolonged slew of babies. My brother Herb and his wife, Pam, had a son. Natasha and I followed less than a year later with Evangeline. Then Ward and his wife, Rhoda, had a daughter. All told there are five little Learnlings running around right now, though the youngest is 5.

Last year I noticed a number of my friends were separating and getting divorced. The marriages that were pledged to last the rest of their lives were coming crashing down around them, and one by one, they were deciding to leave.

And now, while it is still summer, I can feel the first chill of autumn as wind stirs in the leaves overhead.

I buried an aunt last year, followed by an uncle. We buried Natasha's mother this summer, taken by an early frost. Now I have another aunt in Georgia who has been given two to eight weeks to live.

And my own parents, who at 68 have had good innings, are no longer as young as they once were. They're both slowing down, and though they've been there my whole life, it's increasingly plain to see that they won't be there forever.

The sun rises in the East and sets in the West, and as the day ends, all slips into darkness. This too is meaningless.

Copyright © 2008 by David Learn. Used with permission.

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