Watching someone dig a grave, you realize the ground can teach us the importance of the willingness to receive.
Last month, mangled heart in hand, I had apprehensively moved across the planet for a woman, unsure of what this belated love would bring. Last night, I watched as she hacked at the earth, tree roots snaking across the shovel, resisting. We had tried other spots by the river, all equally hard. I held my iPhone flashlight in front of us, mosquitoes and moths congregating around the swaying point of light.
Hack hack curse hack tears cheeks flushed.
I dug at the earth with my hands to dislodge a large flat rock, mindful that she was in track pants and a sweatshirt, and that I was still in professor’s clothes. I bent my legs, gripped the edge of the rock and strained. My arthritis flared, my high heels wobbled, the rock moved. She nudged me out of the way and carried it. Too heavy for her but she did it. And placed it firmly over the illegal burial site. She had released him from his pain a few hours ago. Like this, here by the river, she would be able to stop by every day on her walk with the pups.
“Do you want to say a few words?”
She walked off in the dark towards the car. She had already said goodbye.
Now I know the nobility of her love.