flowering-trees empty-chairs weeping-cherry dogwood

It was a winter that seemed like it would never end.  And of course it was the winter of Monika’s gradual and then dramatic decline and death, and subsequent months of deep mourning and loneliness.  So the belated arrival of spring, with its promise of renewal and rebirth, its virtual explosion of color and sense of new possibilities, has been most welcome.  And it has given a new direction to my life through my serendipitous meeting of Holly at a Sierra Club meeting in Charlottesville, where a brief conversation alerted us to a quite extraordinary congruence of interests and passions, which has only increased as we’ve gotten to know each other more.

holly1  holly2

heidi-plunge1 holly-plunge2

 holly-plunge3  holly-bob-plunge

bob-mintspring holly-mintspring


My wonderfully perceptive and supportive sister Eleanor has captured these developments beautifully:  “I’m delighted that you found someone like Holly who shares your love of nature, hiking — and that the two of you enjoy each other’s company.  That pix of the two of you is adorable.  It never hurts to remind ourselves that we have only one life to live; I’m impressed (as I’ve been many times) with how much you accomplish and how fully you enjoy life.  That you’re sharing your life now with a sympathetic, attractive person is good news indeed.  (And, as you say, it does not in any way diminish your wonderful years with Monika nor your fond memories.)”