He Is Not Dead
I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead. He is just away.
With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.
And you—oh you, who the wildest yearn
For an old-time step, and the glad return,
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here.
Think of him still as the same. I say,
He is not dead—he is just away.
~ Jame Whitcomb Riley
The weekend was a beautiful and bittersweet celebration of the life of a remarkable man. On the way home last night I pondered the idea of how we think we know a person, but we really don’t get to truly know them until we stand in a gathering of those who loved him/her, those whose lives were touched in some way by him/her, and listen to the stories of that person’s life. There are more sides to all of us than we fathom or even consider on a day-to-day basis. It is a good lesson to learn, to carry with me. I was going to type, “I wish I’d learned it sooner,” but the truth is that I might not have been ready to appreciate such a lesson sooner. ‘Twould be nice if it had been learned an easier and better way, though.
I was awake for a good part of last night, unable to sleep in spite of a deep exhaustion. I wrote poetry in my head, poetry that vanished in the morning light just as the frost and dew disappeared with the warmth from the rising sun. Ephemeral poetry, perhaps floating out in the ether somewhere waiting for someone else to pick up the words, write them down, and share them with others. Maybe they will become a song someday. I would like that.
Music was a huge part of our friend’s life, and it was a big part of the celebrations of his life. I won’t go into detail about the two events. It would take too long, and maybe be too personal. There were stories and photographs, songs and remembrances, sobs and tears, smiles and laughter, hugs and hand holding, and a few of those instances of that little hitch you get in your breath when you are trying to form words through your sorrow. Above all, there was Love. I am pretty sure G was there with us, playing the drums and singing songs in the alternate universe he has moved onto ahead of us.
We stopped to look at the moon on our way home yesterday. It wasn’t a planned stop. I don’t even remember who suggested it. M, I think. It was a chance to stop and catch our breath after the weekend’s events. We joined a bunch of other folks — strangers — standing on the beach of the Chesapeake Bay, near the Bay Bridge, to watch the super moon. The moon was already already on the way up when we got out of the car to walk down to the beach.
It was one of those breathtakingly, almost achingly, beautiful evenings. Cold, and getting colder after sunset, breezy, yet quiet even with all the people on the beach watching as the moon tried to reach the pink part of the sky. We didn’t stay long, and couldn’t have even if we wanted to because the park closes at 5:00 PM. The park ranger came around to let everyone know the park was closed and it was time to move on.
I hadn’t planned to take photos of the moon, and didn’t have my tripod so the shots I got are fair-to-middling, maybe. Some are not even that good. Still and all, they give you an idea, a sense of what it looked like in the sky, in the water, and on the beach yesterday evening.
Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.
~ Jalaluddin Rumi
The weather was wonderfully autumnal throughout the weekend. I always think it should be gray and gloomy during sorrow filled occasions, and yet it almost never fails to be beautiful. There are lessons in that, too. And blessings, I suppose. Because the weather was so nice, M and I took a short walk through a veteran’s cemetery on Sunday afternoon. We had arrived an hour or so early for the Sunday services for G in the Annapolis area and couldn’t find a park nearby. Nobody seems to mind if you stroll around a cemetery, and it was better than strolling around a shopping mall.
It is raining and chilly today. I wanted to go down to the Point to watch as the moon set, but the clouds had already moved in sometime during the wee hours of the morning.
There is a lot going on in the weeks ahead. I’ll be visiting Little Wookie (my grandson) this upcoming weekend. It will be wonderful to see him again. He’s been growing by leaps and bounds, as babies do. We Skyped with him on Sunday morning, and I swear he is the happiest baby I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. Darn cute, too. He always puts a smile on my face.
Next week is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. Some of my family will be coming to the ranch to celebrate. It will be the biggest family gathering we’ve had here. I’m not quite sure how we’ll manage to fit everyone in. It will be cozy, that’s for sure.
I reckon that’s it from me and from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. Thank you for visiting and for meandering along with me. Thank you, too, for all of your lovely comments on my last post. Your love and support are much appreciated. I’ll be trying to catch up with y’all soon.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 51) The honor and privilege of friendship. 52) Family that you’ve had the good fortune to choose. (In other words, friends.) 53) A rainy day to rest and take my time getting caught up. 54) Love, in all its forms. 55) The beauty of nature.