For everything there is a season...

It would appear, dear friends, that my sister Beth is close to death.  We are making arrangements to leave this morning for Maryland.  Given the complexities of family - and grief - I am not shocked.  Sad, to be sure, and a little numb, but not shocked.  My dear old family is in deep transition.  Not surprisingly, too, it is Mary Oliver's words that come to heart this morning:

There are many ways to perish, or to flourish.

How old pain, for example, can stall us at the
threshold of function.

Memory: a golden bowl, or a basement without light.

For which reason the nightmare comes with its
painful story and says: you need to know this.

Some memories I would give anything to forget.
Others I would not give up upon the point of
death, they are the bright hawks of my life.

Still, friends, consider stone, that is without
the fret of gravity, and water that is without

And the pine trees that never forget their
recipe for renewal.

And the female wood duck who is looking this way
and that way for her children.  And the snapping
turtle who is looking this way and that way also.
This is the world.

And consider, always, every day, the determination
of the grass to grow despite the unending obstacles.

I know that I will wrestle with Beth's death for a long time when it comes.  She was oh so complicated - and wounded - and loving and wacked.  (So are we all, of course, but Beth has a certain style...)  For now though I am resting in the rhythm of the saints who have reminded others before me that:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.


Black Pete said…
From a place of silence, my heart goes out to you.
RJ said…
with deep love and appreciation right back to you, my man...
Philomena Ewing said…
Same wishes as Pete RJ.
Prayers are with you and all your family.
Bob said…
May G-d comfort you with all who mourn. May you know only blessings.
Elmer E. Ewing said…
I too am sorry, RJ, and extend my condolences.

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