One-year Anniversary of Bill’s Death

Yesterday, October 11th, was the one-year anniversary of my husband William J. Higginson’s death. Although I felt subdued the last several days, I also felt embraced by both family and friends. All weekend, even continuing this morning, friends across the country and planet have been e-mailing me, offering me love and support. Thinking of this time last year, I sent a message to the haiku list “Blogging Along Tobacco Road,” thanking that community for their caring over the past months.

And I deeply thank my loving family members for their caring. My sister called me from Texas to see how I was doing. My son Charlie came on Friday and stayed overnight, leaving Saturday afternoon for his three-hour drive back up to North Jersey. He helped me enormously with further migrating my files from my 10-year-old Compaq computer to my new Dell desktop. As he said, I’ve gone from horse and buggy to bullet train. And my step-daughter Beth made and mailed me the unexpected gift of a beautiful tapestry tote-bag which I’ll use for my books and manuscripts during my upcoming trip.

And yesterday, the day itself, my daughter and family picked me up late morning for a drive out into the country to a farm about an hour away. We drove on country roads through a tapestry of color—from burnished fields to brilliant trees just beginning to turn, and it was a quintessential fall day.  We bought pumpkins, gourds, cider donuts (wickedly good), and fresh cider. It was fun to watch the grandkids helping to pick out pumpkins. I found a little round one, and my daughter snapped a photo of me holding it.

We all felt Bill’s presence as we hugged one another good-bye when they dropped me off.

After I got home late afternoon, I was comforted by a caring phone conversation with a dear friend, then put on my walking shoes and took a twilight walk to a pedestrian bridge over a portion of the nearby Great Egg Harbor River. I paused a bit on the bridge to look down at the water and meditate. The sky was luminous and the water so still it virtually became that sky and the glowing trees that lined the river banks.  As I write this, I’m reminded of the “still waters” in the 23rd Psalm.

And so the day passed, and this morning I am focusing on getting further prepared for my trip to the Pacific Northwest (please scroll down for info on that).  I am deeply thankful for all the good things that have flowed toward me during the past months.  And as these days shift into autumn– some a panoply of vivid color under incredibly blue skies, others cold and gray with rain and wind, I continue my healing journey, grateful for the blessings of the ever-changing sky.


About penhart

I am a poet and writer, published widely in journals and anthologies, and my literary autobiography appears as an extended essay in "Contemporary Authors." My poems have recently appeared in "Rattle" ,"Tiferet," and "U.S. 1 Worksheets". Work has also appeared in "The Valparaiso Poetry Review," and "Umbrella." Recent books include 'One Bowl" (2012); "Recycling Starlight" (2010); and "The Night Marsh" (2008).. Earlier collections include "Along River Road"; "Lizard Light: Poems From the Earth"; and "Buried in the Sky." My illustrated alphabestiary for children, "The Beastie Book," was published in the December, 2009, by Shenanigan Books. I have won three poetry fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, as well as awards from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Mary Carolyn Davies Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the first William O. Douglas Nature Writing Award for my work in the anthology "American Nature Writing 2002." I was invited to be a "featured poet" and read at the 2010 Dodge Poetry Festival, and was awarded a residency / fellowship for January, 2011, at VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts." I live in the South Jersey shore area, and work as a visiting poet in the schools through programs sponsored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and various other agencies. I'm still fairly new at blogging and hope to add more graphics, etc., as I learn more.
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