So the news came while i was sowing snap peas in the eleven o'clock sun under the brightest blue sky with those clouds that if you sit still, which i don't, you might find meditative, and my hands were grimy with compost, and i was trying to be neat about the little furrows i was digging, and economical with the number of seeds i was dropping in the ground, and you know, peas are easy because the seeds are enormous, and occasionally i would take a deep breath, and tell myself to be thoughtful as i covered the seeds, because seeds are wishes, really. I stopped to go in the house and have some water and checked my phone and there was a voice mail from an old friend, one whom i've spent the summer helping with her young horses because she was widowed back in November, and so it must have been especially hard for her to call me to let me know another friend had been widowed and her husband, who i have admired for so long, was killed in his airplane two nights ago - he and a friend were flying to Nevada and they missed a pass through the Rockies and broadsided a mountain, and well, mountains always win don't they? I felt nauseous listening to the message and i remembered the last time i had spoken with him - i'd gone to their house to pick up a copy of a land survey for a piece of property my husband and i had planned to purchase from the flying man and his wife. He invited me to sit at the kitchen table in their sun dappled house, their horses in the green pastures through the windows - we shared some cold wine and conversation. The land deal fell through, but our friendship stayed the same. The shock of his death in his plane came for so many reasons, but most especially because he had cheated death eight years ago in a plane crash. He'd lost a leg but you would hardly know, he continued to ride his horses, fox hunt, fly his plane, and work his tractor - some said he had more lives than normal people and i believe it.
Not thirty minutes after the news i drove to town, and found myself wandering in the market looking for some kind of lunch, some kind of connection with all the living people and a baby screamed and raised hell on the granola/cracker aisle as his mother studied the side of cereal box; now most days, the pierce of the baby's cry would fold me up and put me away, but in that moment, i needed that baby to cry out with all his might, to move the mountain that wouldn't move for my friend, cry baby, cry cry cry.