|Lamb cake for the party|
Sunday was, in sharp contrast, a farewell occasion for an old friend. In a standing room only church we listened to the singing of Danny Boy, the saddest, most poignant song I know. Tears wet every cheek and talk afterwards was of missing and loneliness and sorrow. Rain fell first in a fine mist and then in torrents as if the very skies wept at this man's passing.
I know that sorrow and joy are two sides of the same coin, that in this world of opposites we experience both, not always equally and not always with equanimity and we prefer one rather than the other, but there was some measure of comfort after the service as we recalled this gentle man's accomplishments, his delight in small things, his great love of family.
The little Bean will grow into her own life, will experience her own moments of great joy and deep sorrow. Her life will unfold and she will live it as best she can. My old friend's memory will live on in the minds of those who knew and loved him. His hand is everywhere I am, in the patches and repairs to my tiny cottage of which he was landlord, in the farm animals and buildings, and the meadows and woodlands that surround me and that he loved so well.
These two days - one of joy and one of sorrow - have had a hand in shaping my own life as all our days do, though we don't always notice it in our self-involvement. As a reminder that in the midst of both life and death there is something worth treasuring, the lilacs bloomed both days.