A few years ago L began a tradition of taking me to our state capital–Madison (home of the U of Wisconsin as well) for a special weekend. He always chose the weekend that the shops along State Street (that runs from the capitol building to the university) were holding the mid-summer Maxwell Street days. I would shop for bargains, we would have dinner in a lovely restaurant then perhaps see a play and the following day (Saturday) we would wander through the incredible Farmer’s Market on the Square–a mile-long wonderland of organic fruits and veggies, baked goods, plants and flowers and soapbox orators speaking out about this or that topic of the day. Later we would go to the wonderful Memorial Union Terrace overlooking Lake Mendota and watch sailboats while we ate huge cones of chocolate peanut butter ice cream made right there on campus. Before heading for home we would take a walk along the lake path that runs from the Union past dorms and other campus buildings along the shore of the lake.
This is a tradition that I have decided to continue. Last year I went there and part of that visit was placing some of L’s ashes along the lake path down near the water and near the dorm he lived in as a student there. This year when I walked the path I stopped to “visit” that spot and restore the rocks I had stacked there last year. I shopped the farmer’s market and the Maxwell Street sales and while I did not see a play I did sit on the Union terrace listening to live music while I enjoyed a cone of chocolate peanut butter ice cream. When I started for home yesterday I felt so peaceful and light-hearted and very much as if I had shared this time with L. About 20 miles outside Madison it started to sprinkle even though the sun was out. And then I saw this rainbow or half a rainbow but it was the best rainbow I have ever seen. It was so close that I could clearly see every single color band and it stayed there riding along as I did for another 20 miles or so. I happen to be a person who believes in signs–I believe they are all around us if we will simply open hearts and minds to discovering and receiving them. I have no doubt at all that this rainbow that came literally out of the blue was L letting me know that he agreed–it had been a lovely weekend.