Every man dies. Not every man really lives.

42 years ago yesterday, my mother’s water broke when she was 6 and a half months pregnant, however she didn’t go into labor or have any pains. She went to the hospital, but the doctors told her she had wait until she went into labor before they could do anything (this was the 60s, after all). They gently suggested that she prepare herself mentally because her baby was probably dead.

She spent a week on the couch, and then finally had labor pains. My aunt Roberte likes to tell the story about how she drove like a madwoman through every red light trying to get my mom to the hospital that day. And then, after many grueling hours, I was born. Alive.

I sometimes wonder why my foray into this world was so difficult, and why I survived. Perhaps there is a greater reason for me being here on this Earth. And maybe there isn’t, but it’s nice to think that there is.

Years ago, my friend Charles gifted me with a charm of the Eye of Horus. I never wore it, but back in January while cleaning out my jewelry box, I found it and felt compelled to wear it around my wrist on a chain. Charles claims the Eye of Horus watches over premature babies. I’m not so sure about that; but I have read that it is a symbol of life and resurrection. And speaking of life and resurrection, the blackberry bush I planted four springs ago flourished this past week. I thought the canes died during the winter (sadly, the golden raspberry cane kicked the bucket), but this morning I wandered across the yard to check on the blackberries and picked all of these:

I’m not quite sure what to do other than eat them immediately or scatter them on a bowl of half-melted vanilla ice cream. There is something enchanting about eating fruit straight from the vine. I remember eating groseilles and raspberries in a friend’s garden in Eastern France. Of all the meals I’ve eaten in my lifetime, the memory of eating those berries is right up there on my top ten list.

Welcome to summer.

*Title is a quote by William Wallace


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