Another day in Mason.
Another day of life.
Here in the Texas Hill Country.
One tradition in Mason is a particular piece of white paper.
Not just any paper.
These get posted outside shops and offices that surround the square.
At first glance, they appear to be festive little flags flapping white in the wind.
All those who pass by are inclined to look closer.
Whether local or tourist, we pause to read the very white, very simple pieces of paper clipped outside Benjie’s or the Coffee Mug N’ More.
And there it is.
Nothing festive about it.
Just a few words in bold black type.
Announcing a death.
The passing of a life.
One particular life.
Perhaps begun in Mason County.
But the person is recollected.
Date of death.
Where services will be held.
Where body will be buried.
After 90 years or 60 years, 20 years, or maybe 2 months, a particular life has come to a close here in Mason.
Did anyone hear it close?
The piece of paper clipped outside Underwood’s calls it out as it waves in the breeze.
Someone has lived.
Mother, father, sister, brother.
Husband, wife, lover.
And now they’re gone.
It’s good to know.
Even if we didn’t know them.
Does every leaf know another on the towering oak?
Yet we watch as one fellow leaf turns color and falls to the ground.
Or is taken suddenly by storm, still green and vibrant.
Away they go.
Like leaves, we enjoyed the same cool breeze.
Thirsted together in the hot sun.
Quaked when lightning struck overhead.
Known or unknown.
Now they are gone.
The tree of life won’t be the same without them.
But a subtle shift will happen.
Slowly Nature closes the gap.
A new leaf buds.
And we go on living.
Renee Walker is an author, poet, and real estate agent on the square.