Saturday, 6 April 2013

"Home Beyond"

"My soul tells me, we were 
all broken from the same name
less heart, and every living thing 

wakes with a piece of that original 
heart aching its way into blossom."
(From "Below Our Strangeness",  by Mark Nepo)

Today is my Mum's birthday, no matter that she passed from this seen world two and a half years gone by. She is eternally my mother; it remains part of her history and therefore of mine that she was born on 6th April. The final few months of staggered steps and struggled breath and the death she so feared were only a brief darkening in the long life that was often vivid and loud with talk and laughter and interest. 
I wear remembrances of her everyday; mainly something of her jewellery, but often now a hint of her smile or rueful pursed lips. In the same way, I wear my father's only watch and carry the little cross he kept in his wallet, just as I seem to wear his big heart on my own coat sleeve. A friend told me it was mawkish to carry on celebrating birthdays and carrying such keepsakes; that she advised all people who had lost family or close friends to simply "move on". I couldn't agree less.  Ancestry and kinship help to define us; understanding where I'm from and how I came to be me makes sense of where I'm headed and the surest way to get there.
I miss my parents everyday, but a birthday remains a celebration of all that person was; the humour, the passion and the achievements. Mum loved to get cards from my sister and me, she loved little treats; she tutted at the "waste" of cut flowers but loved to receive them all the same. So today, there will be cards and yellow flowers by the stone that bears her name.  I've brought some bright kerria into the house from my garden; it was growing uncoaxed when I moved in, just as it always appeared with the spring at Mum's house. I've been playing Newton Faulkner today: I always say that I introduced Mum to "Dream Catch Me" and other songs of his, but of course my parents and the ancestors were there beyond all things introduced.
I've also often said that my Mum was my anchor and Dad my compass. May you always find the fond and familiar to celebrate and to navigate the course your soul remembers.

"A Beauty Blessing"
As stillness in stone to silence is wed
May your heart be somewhere a God might dwell.
As a river flows in ideal sequence
May your soul discover time in presence.
As the moon absolves the dark of resistance
May thought-light console your mind with brightness.
As the breath of light awakens colour
May the dawn anoint your eyes with wonder.
As spring rain softens the earth with surprise
May your winter places be kissed by light.
As the ocean dreams to the joy of dance
May the grace of change bring you elegance.
As clay anchors a tree in light and wind
May your outer life grow from peace within.
As twilight fills night with bright horizons
May beauty await you at home beyond.
(John O'Donohue)

(All photos: Gigi, album)

"Dream Catch Me"  Newton Faulkner


  1. As long as they are remembered they are never truly gone. Happy birthday to her! xxx

  2. I hope so Gi, I really do... :-)