Returned: one angel’s wing

[This blog, be forewarned, speaks of hope. It was written, unabashedly, in the face of the harm, cruelty, and violence humans do to each other.]

IMG_3536Five and a half years ago I lost an angel’s wing. I also lost a husband, a house, and my trust in the bulk of humanity. 

I stopped grieving the husband two or three years after he told me of his separate parallel life.

The house I never missed. It was a McMansion that fought back hard against my attempts to make it human-friendly. A truckload of furniture would arrive – soft sofas, curved wood rockers, Afghan rugs – and, once they were unloaded, I’d look around to find in which room they had disappeared.

We originally called the house “The Stage,” recognizing it as a phase my husband seemed to need to go through. He never got through it, he loved that house.

As for my trust in humans, it will never return to fuzzy-edged naiveté. I live by: I could be betrayed, heart-broken, forgotten, and cheated on at any moment, but that’s not an adequate reason not to love and embrace joy.

In any case, any bitterness has been replaced by a manageable sadness, patience, and loving acceptance. The book of humans could be titled “Varieties of Foibles.” We don’t even treat ourselves, let alone others, as we would like to be treated.

And poignancy is an okay quality to live with. Its merging of joy and pain is spot on with the truth of life.

While the house was an obdurate beast, the garden we designed together was breathtaking – pockets of restfulness, a (recycling) creek with two dams, koi fish, water lilies, lotus, Siberian irises, a mediation house 9 feet off the ground with glass walls and a steeple of copper, and the green grass circle where we were married standing on rose petals.

The angel’s wing (Carrara marble) was in the garden. When I had the opportunity to claim some furniture and art from the house, I didn’t have the presence of mind to remember the garden. It was a hit and run mission (legal and with written permission) – and it was unbearable to point my finger at items I wanted and needed (I had nothing) while his financial manager took photos and made a list.

Last week, five years overdue, the wing returned to me. The house is being sold. I wrote and asked for the wing. He didn’t say “yes” directly, but copied me on the email asking a friend to pick it up and deliver it to me.

IMG_3520The wing sits close to a statue of a seated woman titled “Waiting for an Angel.” I did manage to get her five years ago. She has waited all this time. Some things meant to be yours return.

They are together in my garden and today my first iris bloomed – an old-fashioned purple bearded iris of the kind my mother grew. It is among allium, and peonies that will bloom soon, and a lilac bush that bloomed  two weeks ago.IMG_3529


The foibles of humans make good things more tender than they might otherwise be. Life wants to be wonderful. Or maybe the return of the wing and the hope it embodies – angels do visit earth – is making me a little drunk.