Before retiring, I talk with my grandmother who looks younger than
I remember her. Since she is flying to India in the morning, she says,
"You can use the whole house." How extensively she has redone the interior.
It is fresh and colorful-new paint, floral paper, hand-painted beds and bureaus
in a moving sea of yellow, pale green, lavender, and blue.
Inside, this place feels like springtime in Frida Kahlo's bright, yellow kitchen.
Outside, I stand on a lakeshore in evening light with an artist/librarian friend.
We talk about the importance of higher education, not university degrees
but degrees of higher learning in life. She holds out a pink lotus, which she
places on the straw seat of a French provincial ladder-back chair.
Beyond the ladder, we watch a dark, bearded man who stands knee deep
in the lake. Balancing his energies, he stamps his feet and beats his chest,
splashing water over his naked body in a self-baptism ritual.
His face reminds me of a policeman-student I once taught,
who in midllfe switched from law enforcement to humanities.
Now he has something to teach me.
Across the lake, evening backlights the mountains with turquoise and rose.
The lotus glows salmon pink in the darkness.
Like the evening, it is edged in gold.