circle of life

I took this photograph over the weekend during a family barbecue. Aunt Bessie is 98 years old. My new granddaughter Brooklyn is only 8 weeks old. When I look at the two of them it feels as though I am looking at the whole of a woman’s life – the history of girlhood and school days, of friendships and lovers and work and marriage, the fierce new love a young mother feels when she holds her sleeping child, and the fierce grief a woman lives as she strokes her dying husband’s hand. Can you see it? All that has happened in the creases and lines of Bess’s beautiful face, and all that is yet to come in the smooth angelic face of my baby granddaughter. A life nearing its conclusion and one that is just beginning. The circle of life, strung out between their two ageless spirits like the glistening white pearls of Aunt Bessie’s necklace.

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.  ~Havelock Ellis

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(almost) wordless wednesday

Mr. Bookbabie is making an appearance on my blog today in honor of Earth Day. That’s my guy enjoying his fifteen minutes of fame on the front page of the newspaper a “few” years ago. He was a very young Biology teacher at the time displaying a water purification system and he just confessed to me last night that he was actually distilling booze! Oh well, it was the early seventies after all, at least he didn’t have the students growing “herbs” in the greenhouse. He also told me he wishes he still had all that hair and those really groovy pants 🙂

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read it

manhunt.jpg I finished Manhunt, by James Swanson the other night and I really liked it a lot. Whenever we choose a historical novel for book club I’m always afraid it will be dry and a chore to read. But the good ones pull you in and take you back in time and this is a really good one, right up there with one of my other favorite historical novels, Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen. Heavily researched narratives like this really do make history come alive. I felt like I was there in the audience at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. in 1865 watching the dramatic assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth, at Lincoln’s bedside as he lay dying, and I rode along on the engrossing twelve day manhunt for Booth that followed. A vivid can’t put it down good read!