Rain

White bell flowers of manzanita species. King Moutain loop, Larkspur, California by Betsey Crawford

When my partner George died in October one of the things I dreaded was the coming rainy season.  After my brother’s death in June, I was consoled by the beautiful blue and yellow days, the long soft evenings, the silken roses in overflowing gardens. By October I feared I had only darkness and storms ahead. …

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Memories

Mount Redoubt from Kenai, Alaska by Betsey Crawford

After reading my last essay, A Year of Love and Death, on the losses of 2020, both personal and worldwide, my brother-in-law sent me a poem by John O’Donohue called For Grief. My partner George’s Irishness was a wild and wonderful force in his life. In the years before his death, he explored Celtic spirituality with …

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The Bowl of Roses

Peach colored David Austin rose in Manito Park, Spokane, Washington by Betsey Crawford

Since my brother’s death in June, words have been hard to come by, for writing, speaking, even reading. Poetry has been a companion; so much meaning in so few words. And, on these bright, blooming California days, the tender mercies of beauty have been deeply consoling. Perry, who started his landscaping business in college, told …

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Beauty for ashes

Beauty: checker lily (Fritillaria affinis) King Mountain Trail, Larkspur, California by Betsey Crawford

I am sent to heal the brokenhearted….To comfort all who mourn….To give them beauty for ashes. ~Isaiah, 61~ I am blessed, in this time of forced absence and fearful presence, to live with beauty. As long as I’m willing to climb some steep hills, I can walk among embracing trees, with unfurling ferns and delicate spring …

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