Several years ago i saw an arbor at the garden center, but before i could commit to buying it, it had disappeared. Oh darn. I had especially liked the sunrise pattern on the sides--a half-circle of wood with thin, wooden slats of sun rays radiating out to the uprights. The sun had set on the opportunity to buy that beautiful arbor. Sigh.
The following Wednesday morning, i went to writing group, and there stood the arbor. Margot had bought it! I came over a few days later and took measurements and photos. Then i went to the local fencing company and asked the owner to make me such an arbor. Two arbors, in fact, plus 4 sections of fencing with a sunrise pattern. Eventually the job was completed and installed on summer solstice.
Now i'm in the Wednesday morning writing group again, sitting outdoors at the picnic table and looking at Margot's arbor. A pink rose has clambered over the top, each flower's simple 5 petals gazing at the morning sun that shines warmly on them this June morning.
I also see that 5 or 8 of the wooden sun rays on either side of the arbor have pulled out of the weather-worn gray suns, like broken spokes of an old wagon wheel.
The entire arbor stands somewhat off-balance, as if gravity is pulling it toward the east. In 10 years, this arbor has aged from shiny, smooth, brown to dull, rough, gray. Its youthful beauty still imaginable through its cracked age.
We too are of the nature to grow old and gray, our bones thinning, not visibly and only noticed in the triennial bone density scan. We too begin to favor one leg due to painful knee or hip joints.
Those who love us look deeply and still see us as beautiful. Those new to our acquaintance simply see graying hair and wrinkled face. They may notice the creping of the skin on our arms, and our general unshapeliness, as if gravity has pulled breasts down to belly and everything else down to hips.
If someone bought this house tomorrow, they'd throw the arbor on the brush pile and burn it to a pile of ashes.
A pile of ash or dust is what our own bodies will turn into. The life of our original material form mere specks in the eons of cosmic dust.