Wednesday, April 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Doors at URC

By Lena McNicholas

The double doors opened automatically and I rolled-stumbled through with my three well-traveled pieces of red Liz Claiborne luggage.

I was weary with jet lag and weeks of decisions: selling the house, disposing of lifelong possessions, weeping when the piano left for a new home in New Jersey, looking at the Blue Ridge Mountains every morning as coffee cooled in my hand knowing that the last morning was rapidly approaching. How can I possible be ready?

Heritage plants were gifted with instructions, including Christmas cactus whose parent sat in Grandmother’s picture window and watched as she observed the ebb and flow of our mountain town; and a 5-foot palm, a gift from the vet when we had to put Baron down. More than 10 years ago it was a small frond crowded in terra cotta with other exotic plants that died along the way. Now it resides in a neighbor’s sunroom and I hope she can catch glimpses of Baron’s glistening brown eyes, his floppy ears and comical expressions within the fronds as she cares for them.

From Virginia to California is as far as the moon in my mind’s eye. The hazy mountains, my beloved garden with Mother’s roses transplanted many times, red oak and dogwood must stay behind while I must go. All that is familiar fades within the jet’s spreading plumes.

How can it be that the land where I was born will not feel my footsteps and breath as the coming days, weeks and years pass? Will my strong connection be broken as I leave my homeland behind and head west as thousands before me have done? Will I have a new life?

After years of resignation and faded hopes, I have this smiling face and being that I call Sweet Baby Leo. Son of son who is 40-plus years old, he brought more than sun into our lives. Now I will watch him grow, hold him close, sing old songs, dance crazy jigs and teach him to say Nana.

University Retirement Community will be my new home from this day forward, and I pray that I can embrace it fully as I seek new friends and ways to fill my days. When the voice called and asked, “Would you like to go to a writing group with me tomorrow?” excitement and dread came in equal waves. Would the brain be able to connect to pen, then paper, then muse to inspire or lead me to write something of worth?

Doubts hovered this past year as I struggled with interruptions, illness and lethargy to pick up and write again. Would the stories from travels in Europe, life in Venezuela and Africa come easily after such a nonproductive time? I was tired.

Suddenly I see such riches before me in this community of elders. The lined faces and bright eyes reflect their wills to squeeze the last drop of pleasure from their lives as they walk in the sun, chat in the mail room, use magnifying machine to read The New York Times, dance at the New Year, play bocce in a freezing wind at 8 a.m.

They enter the dining hall with walkers and colorful wine carriers to host the newcomers with grace and inquisitive conversations. They inspire me each day as adjustment settles over mind and body.

— Lena McNicholas is an award-winning poet. Born in Wise County, Va., she spent many years teaching in Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Venezuela and Nigeria

Special to The Enterprise

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
Council votes to look at reducing water bills

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

New mosaic mural reflects Peña family history

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
UC Davis biodigester hungers for food scraps

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Penalty decision looms in Winters homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Hay bales burn east of Davis

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Woman killed by train ID’d

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Pro-Russian insurgents hold journalist captive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Davis Arts Center: See ceramics, join the Big Day of Giving

By Erie Vitiello | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fire damages Woodland home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

Register to vote by May 19

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sign up for enviro organizations during Earth Week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Bible fun featured at Parents’ Night Out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Davis businesswoman presides over conference

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Birch Lane sells garden plants, veggies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Team Blend hosts fundraiser for Nicaragua project

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

Fundraiser benefits Oakley campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Fire crews gather for joint training

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Odd Fellows host culinary benefit for nonprofit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
400 bikes go up for bids at UCD auction

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Sunder hosts campaign event for kids

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Church hosts discussion of mental health needs, services

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UCD to host premiere of autism documentary

By Cory Golden | From Page: A4

UFC hears from two local historians

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UCD professor to talk about new book

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Fly Fishers talk to focus on healthy streams, rivers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Train to become a weather spotter

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Learn survival skills at Cache Creek Preserve

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Veterans, internees may receive overdue diplomas

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

UC Davis conference showcases undergraduate research

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Conservation District celebrates its stewardship efforts

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Slow Food tour showcases area’s young farmers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

 
.

Forum

Even a safe house needs boundaries

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
I support Sunder for board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Will anyone notice?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
My votes reflect city values

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
A plea on the Bard’s birthday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

DHS thunders back to win an epic DVC volleyball match

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DHS/Franklin I goes to the Blue Devil softballers

By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Davis gets to Grant ace and rolls in DVC crucial

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Walchli is under par in another Devil victory

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Seniors send Blue Devil girls past Broncos in a lacrosse rout

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Baseball roundup: Rangers rally to beat A’s in the ninth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Sharks go up 3-0 with OT win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Field to fork: El Macero’s chef offers spring tastes

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

 
Five Three Oh! featured at April Performers’ Circle

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Celebrate spring at I-House on Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Music, wine flow at Fourth Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Biscuits ‘n Honey will play at winery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Catharine ‘Kay’ Lathrop

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6