It’s September and I’m back up north in Michigan. A month I’ve never experienced here in almost a half-century of visits. A new perspective, as we’re renting a house on the other side of the back lake instead of staying in the family place on the front lake. That place is occupied by my nephew on my wife’s side preparing for his wedding tomorrow. Quite an event that involved building an enormous temporary deck with a tent overhead to hold some 150 guests. July was a family reunion on my wife’s father’s side, now cousins from the mother’s side are converging. Including family friends from her childhood, one of whom we honored today at her retirement luncheon.
Back in San Francisco, three kids I taught and their father who worked at the school are grieving for the passing of a beautiful wife/mother who beat cancer once and then it came back. My nephew on my sister’s side is meeting his new role as father of his son just born, while simultaneously being a new husband and a step-dad to three other kids.
Birth. Marriage. Retirement. Death. All in the space of a short few weeks. The wheels of the bus going round and round, round and round, all through the town. The doors of the bus open and shut, one comes in, one goes out. And here I am and here you are, blessed to still be here to witness it all.
The sun begins its descent over Lower Herring Lake, these waters that have welcomed me for so long, Never changing amidst the ebb and flow and yet ever changing. The trees bordering the lake silent witnesses to it all, part of the ongoing growth and decay at their own slower pace. One aging man tapping away at this computer, his newly-arrived daughter getting dressed for the evening festivities. Time to get back on the bus.