I have a soft spot for the Humber Arboretum, if you must know, because it was my father’s “find.” He brought us there; a city boy through and through, he always DID love a good trudge through the woods, something I spent much of my childhood resenting and much of my adulthood hoping he would do the same to my kids.
It occurs to me that I haven’t been to the cemeteries yet; my maternal grandparents and father and my father’s parents are across the street from one another up north.
I want to; I hope to, but I don’t have an actual PLAN, which sometimes means it won’t happen. Maybe on Thursday, because Friday will be a zoo. I think about this today because I may not have been to visit his grave, but walking these paths where he brought us – me and the big kids, when they were so tiny they cannot remember – I have somehow been visiting with his soul; with HIM.
If his body is (mostly) no longer underground in that spot where we covered it with dirt, and his neshama never was, then he has become part of the world, and I can visit him anywhere. This may not be a particularly Jewish thought, that spiritual epiphany can be found out in the woods. But as everyone says, “that’s not HIM in there”… which is why I feel okay about moving thousands of miles away from all my ancestors’ remains.
And why I feel very good bringing the kids and visiting him in the woods on this beautiful fall day, even though I still hope (plan?) to get to the grave. Funny where your mind goes when you’re out wandering…