September 1, 2014
“There’s just so many flowers.” We stand in a white room in your father’s house at the end of the peninsula. In Los Angeles, the weather is infused with heat and sun. “There’s just so many flowers.” These are our words for death, for loss, the silences between our laughter and grief. The vibrant lilies and orchids bend their faces toward us, and we sing with our bellies, turning to the open sea.
You were born in September. We cover your home with violet flowers and white roses, they crowd the front porch, the living room, the four-shelved bookcase, the bathroom, the kitchen. The windows are open, and we smell the waft of waves pushing us open. “There are just so many flowers.” What to do with the flowers? “There are just so many flowers.”
Sometimes the most bittersweet and beautiful thing is to make potpourri in the winter. The smells, the touch of a broken rose, the velvety colors of the pedals, the dousing of salt to suck the water out, the transformation of life to embalmed death. Half a year has passed, and it is snowing across the country. I face another sea, frozen and unbroken. I look out the window and the blanket of white brings me back to you, back to warmth, back to home, back to living again.