Dia de los Muertos

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a marigold in November

Tonight I will watch the snow. I will play music, sit, and watch the snow as it twists past the back window. Or falls – maybe the snow will just fall. It won’t serpentine, or make delicate DNA strands past the garage light, or hush the night, or quilt the ground. Sometimes snow simply falls, and is beautiful in its falling. Because the snow has an unmatched vulnerability. There is a healing in snow if you are wounded, or anxious, or downhearted. It can be a salve if you check any of these boxes. Maybe it’s not the snow, but rather, the act of stopping, and watching. I don’t know. I like to think it’s the snow.

Tonight I will watch the snow. Because it is Dia de los Muertos and in this house it is a time for remembering our dead. We gather our reminders – a ballet shoe, a bottle of Rye, a glass of vodka and orange juice, a picture of Harry in the mountains, or Rita in her kitchen, or Marie unabashedly wearing a Mu-Mu. For some reason, I always think of a bass player from a band I was in, who surprised and confused us all when he checked out early. There is even a faded picture of a beloved orange and white cat. I would like to have had marigolds (because the dead are drawn to marigolds) but it is Alberta and a marigold in November is fool’s dream – an absurdity.

Tonight I will watch the snow. Perhaps, I will play Miles Davis, or Max Richter, and join the dead in a drink as the snow falls. If the snow falls. They say it’s going to snow, but it’s weather. Anything could happen. As I age, the room on such nights becomes more crowded. Some of the dead are quietly smiling and talking among themselves in corners. Some want to play, to know things, to be who they were. Others sit and nod, happy to have been remembered. The dead will draw no pleasure from watching the snow. That task falls on my shoulders, and I am glad to carry that weight.

Tonight I will watch the snow. As if it is a prayer. As if falling snow is always a prayer.

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