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I place my notebook down on the table, then pick it up again to lay it back down. I walk away and walk back, passing it by only to return.

The words inside are scrambled, my mind spins a yolk–an embryo of thoughts all stuck together. Then it finally occurs to me how closely timed my family’s births and arrivals are with our deaths and departures.

Like a traveling pair, happiness and heaviness enter together on the day of my birth, echoing her birth and his death.

What uncanny timing. A complex positioning of entrances and exits. As for myself, I have just walked out of another year, or is it that I have entered in? Life and death, it seems, cannot be separated.

It is early summer, color has at last exploded, the blue azure’s have taken flight, and my emotions have spread wings, intense as they are around these recollections of my mother’s birth day and my father’s death, knit together now in endless time just as they were on earth.

From where did her soul enter and through which door did his depart?

I walk beside the water to consider these things; to empty, to fill, because this is what I do. This is how I soothe. Or I simply sit and remember until memories of the shoreline bust wings within me.

Is life wide and death narrow, or is it the other way round? Is it neither or both? Will I find out one day? Will I shut these lids slumbering beneath the setting sun and see Life?

I watched an orchid bloom from the time of her death until his. Year after year passed by while bloom after bloom unfurled. Then the delicate flowers finally shriveled and died the week of his death. It was like the nursery rhyme they sang to me: Grandfather’s clock stopped short, never to go again when the old man died.

But new buds popped up from the branches of the plant like voices speaking into my heart through a rainstorm, “an ending is a new beginning. See here! You cannot separate life from death.”

Heavy and happy, half asleep, full of sunlight, I recognize in the photos stored in my mind the enfolding and unfolding of which I have always longed.

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