The Arbor Vitae 2013

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Jean's Blog (Check out links to Guest Blogs in lefthand Column)

COMING OF AGE

December 8, 2014

Tags: cousins, college, bench, coming of age



COUSINS: College, anyone?




COMING OF AGE

Years have slipped by so fast
Since last I sat on a slatted bench
Under trees mangy as river rats,
The fat river sluggish ahead
Wrinkling under the blue
Manhattan sky
In spring.

Now and then I hear birds sing,
I hear them through the scream
Of sirens gambling with death.
Childrens' voices vanish past the playground's
Bent iron grid,
Into the rancid breath of city living,
Swooshing down silver slides,
Bundled against the treacherous temper
Of early March.

The past pecks at my mind.
It has scribbled lines across my forehead
And written no words between.
The past, like a dry September leaf
Has lost its flame
And free fall from the tree
In a little dust and crackle
Underfoot.



Weddings

July 5, 2013

Tags: LA wedding, cousins, June, joy, home, bubbles

June Weddings, flowers, joy...
  Joy comes bursting into the humdrum of every day in big bubbles of happiness, and this particular June held a string of irridescent bubbles that will continue to spill delight into my mind and my heart for a long time to come. At the center, is the marriage of my eldest son for the first time at the age of fifty, seeing his eyes shine and his face light up as he looks at his bride under the Chuppah, and knowing that he has found the true love of his life at last. Glancing out from under the pavilion of green, I could see the faces of many relatives I grew up with, now scattered across the globe, all having traveled considerable distances to be with us at this transcendental moment, all beaming, all reflecting back to me the happiness that filled my heart . Few moments can equal this.
  Then there was the wedding itself, beautifully organized to the last detail, a romantic medley of conventional and unconventional, close friends and family gathering in California from England, France, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Seattle, Oregon, New York, DC, and Switzerland: my children and grandchildren each with roles to play in their brother and uncle's wedding, their faces bright with excitement as they walked with dignity in their elegant attire. We all reveled in the delicious gourmet food, exquisite setting, music, speeches filled with warmth and laughter, flowers, color, a spectacular moon shining above us on the rooftop venue, the lights of LA, and a unique magnificent wedding cake. It simply doesn't get better than this.
  The following few days at Newport Beach awaiting the wedding of my sister Susan's youngest son Joe to Lindsay Fry on the following Sunday, were also crammed with memorable family interactions, dinners, and celebrations, moments by the pools, moments sharing memories of childhood with my cousins, moments getting to know another large, welcoming family, moments sharing breakfast, moments sharing another beautiful wedding.
  The bubbles of joy glitter and bounce. They pop in and out of my consciousness now that I am back home trying to catch up on work and an avalanche of emails, fighting overwhelming jet lag, navigating a crushing soupy heat wave from the cool haven of our air-conditioning.
  It's good to be home, and it's hard to be home.
  So this month's blog is a celebration of family, and June weddings, and my warm welcome to a new daughter-in-law, Michele.

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