Michigan light.

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

I’m sitting on the futon couch in Sammy’s dad’s living room, and her dad is paging through this morning’s NY Times, which shows up at 4 am in the mailbox across the road, along with the Wall Street Journal, which Sammy’s brother Gordy is reading. Their postures are remarkably similar in the way that direct relatives are. They’re both sitting to get as much daylight from outside as possible. Although it’s cold, it’s sunny and bright, and we’re grateful for that. It just as easily could have been the dark grey cloud helmet of winter that seems to settle in here and make people’s lives, well, dim in addition to cold.

We’re here to help with the pile of mundane tasks that accompany the passing of a loved one. Sammy’s mother—Nick’s seven-decades-long wife—left the stage just as 2011 turned into 2012. The basic chores—moving, disconnecting, finding places for things— have gone well, and we’re hoping to leave things in a good place for her dad to make his personal adjustments to life more alone.

Somehow being up here in winter always puts me in the mind of beginnings and transitions. Cold, darkness, and vast, flat stretches of midwestern dormant agriculture will do that to you.

Hope your year is starting with enough light to burn off the winter doldrums.