Monumental changes. We are steeped in escorial green. We are lush with greenery. For the first time in years, lawns need mowing, chuckling toddlers hold out their hands and look with wonder at the wet. They've never seen rain.
Grandfather. Well-loved and cared for in his later life. I was privileged to spend some time with him in Boston a few winters ago. My nephew posted a photo of himself, his young son, and grandfather, and I've asked for permission to post it. It's a wonderful photo, generational wheels within wheels. [And here it is! Thanks, Jenson, hugs all around.]
Wood carver, sculptor, bronze-caster, artist, sweet man. Loved to carve crosses. Cast crosses. Anywhere. Of any wood. Of any metal. Some of which reside in churches throughout the southwest. His Archangel Michael is stunning. My daughter used to sit in the shop with him and mold puppies that looked just like curled-up, sleeping puppies. I love those puppies.
Standing on the front porch with him, gazing at the mountains across the road. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills...of his beloved Ruidoso. Picnics down on the Rio Ruidoso below their house. The molten-hot intensity of a pour. The mold cracking, contents to be lovingly touched, refined to a thing of beauty and devotion.
My last conversation with him. "Walter, what are you carving?"
Slowly, an apologetic look on his face, he raises his open hands, half-puzzled, smiles at me, and says, "I don't do that any more, since June died."
Say hi to June, grandfather. Love you.