Some Time Away.

Birdfoot's Grandpa

The old man must have stopped our car

two dozen times to climb out

and gather into his hands

the small toads blinded

by our lights and leaping,

live drops of rain.


The rain was falling,

a mist about his white hair

and I kept saying

you can't save them all.

accept it, get back in

we've got places to go.


But, leathery hands full

of wet brown life,

knee deep in the summer

roadside grass,

he just smiled and said

they have places to go,


~ Joseph Bruchac





Even when you are hurrying off to Someplace Very Important it's polite to help a friend safely across the road. We saw this turtle last weekend on a country highway and I couldn't bear to drive by. Turtles aren't known for their speed nor their car-dodging skills, so I did a quick U-turn and we hopped out to move this friend and learn a bit about turtles at the same time.

I've always had a soft spot for animals in my heart. So has my great-aunt Lois. She was a woman with a deep connection to animals beyond anyone else I've ever known. Dogs, cats, wild animals near and far – she was connected to their pulse of life and the emotions of their experiences.

I read the poem above at her 80th birthday. It spoke to her spirit.

Back then she referred to death as "When the big foot comes" as though she were an ant rather than an aunt. Back then she was still independent, still at home, still had her sparkle and her sharp wit. That was 14 years ago.


The day I too the photograph above was a hot summer day a couple of years back. Aunt didn't get out on walks often so when we would visit we'd get her sunhat and hit the streets of a town she knew so well. That day she didn't want to stop exploring her old haunts so despite the heat we kept rolling for hours, block by block through the town she'd known since she was a girl. We literally walked until we ripped a front wheel off of her wheel chair. We laughed so hard on our way back to the nursing home that it was hard for me to stay upright.

I have been thinking about my great-aunt Lois a lot these past few weeks. She turned 95 last month. This past friday she passed away. We are heading up the road to say our final goodbye and spend some time with family.

I have some re-posts scheduled until after I return. I hope you enjoy them.

We love you, Aunt Lois. Blessings on your journey.

13 thoughts on “Some Time Away.

  1. Lori says:

    Rachel, so sorry to hear about your aunt, but 94 years, wow! She sounds like she lived a wonderful, full life and was an example to many. Much love to you and your family.

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