Wednesday, November 04, 2009

One Last Night Under the Moonlight

Farewell, my little Mexican Pepperleaf

Under the full moon I walked outside to spend one last moment with her. All summer she spent with me, content to lounge around the pool and this little isola, swaying to the symphony of the sounds that flung about. Occasionally the flock of parrots would screech by, looking for anything that reminded them of their tropical home. She did, and they would fly low as they would try to comfort each other in this land of the Norteños. I tried to spend as much time with her as I could, but it wasn’t enough. Last night, under the full moon, we said farewell.

Earlier in the day, there was a reminder at the luncheon for the Italian chef. The salad course, right in front, she cavorted delicately with her dancing partner. Everyone at the table commented on how light on their feet they were and how well they complemented one another. I couldn’t be jealous, they were right. But I knew it was over for us, again.

This happens every year. She shows up at my back gate, nearly climbing the fence to get in. She re-arranges everything, but I don’t protest, she makes it look so easy. And calm. And she’s really no trouble at all. She asks for nothing but to be loved and shared. She is authentic and thrives without any kind of toxins. She is pure and simple, her perfume is delicate and spicy, sweet like a balsam. To all whom she comes into contact with, she improves them and is improved by them. She spends most of her time alone, but is best in the presence of company. She is unique and she is no trouble at all. And all she encompasses she does with proliferate ease.

But when the summer comes to an end, she yearns for warmer places, brighter things. Even though I have shown her another world, New York, San Francisco, all over Texas, she yearns for her home, where she has been revered all her life. What can one do? This is the way it is with my little Mexican mistress. She belongs to an ancient world, even as a bigger world calls for her.

I understand her wanting to be someplace where she fits in better. Only the parrots, who are slowly going insane with the onset of winter, could remind her of her dear home.

This morning I went out to see her before she left. It was a dewy morning, she was by the roses. So bright, so strong, so delicate, among the thorny creatures. They didn’t want to let her go, they held on to her as well.

The rabbit, silent and stoic, was frozen. It was as if we were all losing a piece of ourselves. I remember as I was helping her into the car to take her to her next stop, I started to cry. Dolce pianto, the Dottore reminded me, sweet tears.

All'afflitto è dolce il pianto
è la gioia che gli resta

The reaper had reaped, it was blood he wanted and it was blood he got. There was nothing, save the shrieks of the parrots circling the sky above. The sun had risen, but it was a dark moment as she who had filled the world with darkness was now silent and gone.

The days are shorter and the nights are colder. She cannot suffer, though, because she has flown on to her new life. As I stand among the ruins of our time together, I can only hope someday she will return and fill the life of this little isola with her beauty and her calm joy and her music and her vigor, di nuovo.

Buen viaje mi querida, Hoja Santa

With thanks to Gaetano Donizetti for the midnight inspiration
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