Tuesday, March 1

now and again

It snowed most of the day and night Sunday, at the end of a long cold snap here in southern BC. Nasty weather with temperatures in the minus twenties Celsius. And then, yesterday, it was calm and the sun came out, and the snow started to melt.

I took Dax and Bella, my roommate’s dogs, out for a walk, up the street and through a small neighborhood park, under the monkey bars and past the slide, and then down a hill into the woods until you couldn’t tell for looking that there was anything remotely like civilization anywhere around. The snow even made the paths look less civilized, like they could have been deer paths instead of hiking paths.

It was still and warm, the sun shining through the trees. Dax and Bella let loose, chasing each other around the plateau we were on, nosing into the snow, doing doggie MMA. And the melt off of the trees made it like standing in the middle of a sun shower. It felt like the dawn of time.

On Sunday, while I was at work, my Mom called. She fortuitously caught me on a break. She was having a tough morning. Miriam had gone for groceries and she was alone, anxious. Miriam, I have mentioned, is a quiet, stubborn lady, tough as nails and just as taciturn. I think that she plays down what mornings are usually like. I think that Mom has it tough most mornings, waking up to find huge parts of her past gone, not feeling any sense of continuity. I think that Miriam spends most mornings reminding her of where she is and explaining, day after day after day, that her memory is going.

So she was freaked out a bit, feeling displaced. Mirm was out and she found the list of phone numbers, of those few people that she still really remembers, and started making calls. I was second or third. She’d already talked to a couple friends, but hearing again and again that they already know she’s feeling history slide away can’t help much. So we talked for a few minutes and reminded each other of the important things.

When I called later, she was better, more relaxed, in her Zen place like she usually is when I visit, the anxiety of awakening already dissipated.

When she called again yesterday morning, just before I took the dogs out, she said that she felt better. She said that Miriam had taken her to see the doctor and she was on medication to help with her memory and one for her anxiety. This is an appointment that happened last year, in the spring, but it seemed like last week to her. Or she wanted it to be last week. She said she though it was helping, the medicine, and hoped to have her memory improve soon.

She didn’t remember the call on Sunday though.

And that’s what I thought about yesterday, in the trees, with the melt falling like a shower and the sun shining and the dogs running and jumping in the snow. We make plans, we humans, using our big brains to map out the future while we try so hard to untangle from the past.

But it’s really all about the now, the ever shifting now of moments both mundane and profound that flows over and past and around.

I wish that Mom could have been with me to see the dogs playing. I think she would have loved it, even if just for the moment.