This has been a difficult month, not bad, not good; but full of both and on an intense level.
It isn’t just that my cat Tazz passed away on Wednesday but that I held him 2 nights in a row before that for a long, sweet goodbye as we slept and listened to the summer night sounds. It isn’t just that we moved my aunt out of her space after 87 years, but that she broke her hip soon after that. The good stuff, it isn’t just that our gardens, thanks to my husband, are absolutely gorgeous this year, but that intense heat and intense watering make them so…everything bloomin’ at once. It isn’t that I turned down a job before I was even offered it, but that I weighed heavily what do I want the next 5 years of my life to look like and what am I doing about it.
Feeling, I hope not naively, that things are, in their own 21st century way, calming down, I woke up in the middle of the night and thought of this story. Years ago I went to church every week and at that time I heard Father David Gramkey give wonderful sermons. The kind that you feel right through your body to your spirit.
We were at St. Peter and Paul’s Church, my friend and I, in Elmira, NY. In his loud, gentle voice, this man who stood about 6 feet, spoke to all of us. Most of the congregation over 60, I was in my late 20s/early 30s. It went something like this:
“As I thought this week, about all the people I see suffering with so many problems: illness, separations, divorce, death, money, etc., I thought about how lucky we are. It is not that those problems are not real and sometimes such a struggle emotionally and physically or that they do not count, they do. ”
“But, what is wondrous is that we have the gift of today to be alive and coping with those problems and hopefully finding some joy and love through it all. I ask you, when you are down, to think of those who have passed and how much they may have enjoyed THE GIFT OF TODAY. Enjoy your gift.”
and remember what beauty may lie behind the next turn.