On a Rare Occasion

photography by Susa Silvermarie

On a Rare Occasion” was a recent prompt at my write-together circle. Here is my offering.

Every single one is rare and unrepeatable, that’s what she wished to remember. She knocked the side of her head in a gesture designed to get that concept lodged properly in her mind. This occasion was one they had had occasion to experience many times, but MaryAnn was working hard to feel each day of her life as if it were new. The diagnosis did that.

So. A simple walk along the Malecon, the rarity being in the brand new day that had never been here before and would never come again. The rarity being the new person Mary Ann was now experiencing herself as being. No, this Mary Ann had never walked on the Malecon on this shining day ever before.

She walked down Serdan to the lake to meet her best friend for their daily walk. Mary Ann noticed everything now. How rare was the shape of each cobblestone she carefully traversed. Oh, look at that one. She paused under the trees along Serdan, trees that were bent in so many ways they seemed to be holding a dance. The cobblestone came from the lake, she thought. Likely it was once part of the Sierra Madre de San Juan Cosala, the range on the other side of the narrow strip of lakeshore land where she lived. Each cobblestone, she thought, like each person, has its own genesis and history of formation, its own life, really.

The rarities seemed this morning like jewels. She watched a Kiskadee fly ahead of her, and knew, for the first time, it wasn’t just A Kiskadee, it was a particular avian being with a beginning and an end like her own. Mary Ann resumed her slow and careful walk toward the water. But oh, she paused again. It came to her that her life was one long walk toward the waters. Where her drop would dissolve into the great oneness. But at this rate, observing each rarity of the new day, she’d be late to meet Kathleen!

Hello hello, sorry I’m late Kathleen. The occasion keeps presenting its rarities!

They hugged and then stood close to look out at the dawn reflected in the waters. Kathleen observed that the lake was smooth as glass, no wind tickling her surface into giggling ripples. Mary Ann didn’t need to answer. They were old enough friends to be comfortable in the silence together.

Mary Ann took a sweet deep breath of morning. How many more, she wondered. She smiled at her friend and raised her eyebrows to say, Shall we? And the two proceeded along the shore on this rare occasion, a time out of time when no words were necessary and silent sharing filled both their hearts with quiet joy.
photography by Susa Silvermarie

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