Early morning. The day is calm, still a bit cool. The desert is slowly coming to life: wrens and finches sing, doves coo. At a distance a small dog yaps and, perhaps, you hear the approach of another golf cart behind you—headed to greet friends as you wait to play another round with the 9’ers. All is well, as it should be, in Coachella Valley. There’s still a bit of snow on the Santa Rosa Mountains but soon warmth will prevail.
As you wait to begin, some may stretch in preparation for the day’s play, others practice putting. while many huddle in small groups, sharing the latest Chaparral scuttlebutt or catching up with one another. Then, around the bend, a ray of sunshine and color bursts upon the scene to bring joy to everyone.
Oh, you admire her perfectly color-coordinated wardrobe and know that there is a good chance she will walk away with one of the day’s prizes or lend her game skills to a lucky team. If it happens that she’s in your foursome, you know that it will be a good day, even if your game forgot to show up this morning. You know you will be appropriately encouraged and if there’s a suggestion it will be delivered with finesse: “Bud told me to aim toward the lake on hole # 11—none of us can hit it that far,” or, “I’ve learned it really helps to…” And it does.
Part of the sunshine she brings is her ever-positive outlook and generous heart. If there’s something to be done, she’s your go-to girl.
Sometimes, we don’t realize what we have till it’s gone. We take so many blessings for granted—especially when they are so vibrant and full of energy. You know that if you need it, it will be there tomorrow. And then it isn’t.
In winter, the sun sets early. Behind the mountain, its glorious rays linger, cast soothing hues on a few scattered clouds. You remember its warmth and in the remembering, you know the sun shines on in other worlds. This is how it is, how it will be with Judy Bradley. Her memory, like her presence, is a blessing that endures.
wren sings joyfully,
wakens hope in morning’s light
lingers still through night.
A haibun is a Japanese poetic form which combines poetic prose and concludes with a haiku: a poem of 5-7-5 syllables.
Written in memory of our friend, Judy Bradley, whose sun set unexpectedly following a massive heart attack. The previous morning she took 2nd place in the Lady 9’ers Tuesday golf event. She is sorely missed and remembered with great fondness and joy. With prayers and good thoughts for her husband, Bud, and their family.