Time For A Party
My friend Will Green passed away suddenly yesterday. Will was an immensely gentle man who had a gift for celebrating what he enjoyed most about life. Though he will be missed, it seemed entirely appropriate to me that he would leave this party the way he did. He always knew when it was time to move on. In his honor, I'd like to rerun this piece I wrote last year:
My friend Will was a waiter who had, over the years, transformed the yard around his one bedroom house into something of a floral wonderland, a lush little forest of flowers and bushes and vines and terraces. To tend a yard or garden is to bring something to life and then sustain it for as long as time will permit. Unlike a carpenter, the gardener produces no final product. Instead, he oversees a bell curve of life, whose peak is achieved through strategic cooperation with nature.
Will celebrated that peak with a once-a-year garden party. This was a major event, a dinner party with two-dozen tables, a bartender, and colored lamps. The garden itself was extraordinary. Everywhere your eye landed was life at its greenest, reddest, bluest, and purple-est. If this garden were a woman she was perfectly dressed. Will was her tailor, his hand evident in the checkerboard lawn of grass and granite, the trellises, the paths, the trimmed curve of the bush, but not so evident as to claim the beauty for his own. He merely helped reveal the beauty belonging to the flowers themselves.
It was an easy party to enjoy. Everyone had decided ahead of time they were going to have fun, and the garden would not permit disappointment. It was summer, and it was warm, and we were outside, and there was wine, and we were celebrating nothing more specific than the beauty of life. This was easier than celebrating New Year’s, or Christmas, or birthdays, wed as they are to the artifice of time. There was nothing artificial about the garden, it was just life being life, and we were not required to pretend that this moment was more important than any other moment.
Because no sooner had the wine glasses been cleared than the garden began her gradual retirement. Tired from her long summer, she undressed leaf by leaf through the autumn, requiring less of Will’s attention every day, until Will himself awoke one cool morning to find that beauty had silently entered into the long white dream of winter.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.