August 9, 2012
Summer is well on its way. We are having such a heatwave over here ! Unusual canicular days are followed by violent storms, heavy rains and coolness. Temperatures going up and down at brief intervals. Our landscape is especially luxuriant this Season, gardens and fields are grateful : flowers, cereals and vegetables abound.
An orange-red rose, my favourite, with as many petals that open every day as the pages of a scented book you would read with delight.
Some of our fresh vegetables picked early in the morning and served for lunch. On the menu that day for our visitors: leeks with vinaigrette, grilled zuchinis and chards au gratin with cheese. We will have to wait a few more weeks to taste our purple potatoes, something new this year.
It has been a rather busy Summer with little time for blogging and visiting you, my friends, I feel sorry about this; there were several birthday celebrations, family and friends’ visits, excursions and picnics in the mountains but also quiet times along a river near our home. Days are longer and as the sun sets on the water, I sometimes meet a family of swans catching its rays as they glide gently towards the shore, hoping for some pieces of bread I don’t always have.
Summer also brought its days of sadness and loss. Two dear friends passed unexpectedly leaving family and friends deeply shocked. The sun shone brightly though as we all gathered in a small mountain village graveyard to pay homage to both friends, at a two weeks’ interval. Sadness for the great loss.
Sadness for all that remained to be shared and said. Sadness when the realization of their absence became more tangible every day. Why so soon ? Unanswered question. At about the same time, I began reading a book about Celtic Wisdom by the Irish writer and philosopher, John O’Donohue: “Anam Cara” or “Soul Friend” in Gaelic. Thank you to Lumens Borealis http://lumensborealis.com/about/ for having introduced me to John O’Donohue’s writings.
Serendipity, happy coincidence in a moment of distress ? I don’t know but here are a few lines, comforting thoughts, that J. O’Donohue wrote about death in his inspiring book :
The Dead Bless Us
I believe that our friends among the dead really mind us and look out for us…One of the exciting developments that may happen in evolution and in human consciousness in the next several hundred years is a whole new relationship with the invisible, eternal world… We do not need to grieve for the dead. Why should we grieve for them ? They are now in a place where there is no more shadow, darkness, loneliness, isolation or pain. They are home. They are with God from whom they came. They have returned to the nest of their identity within the great circle of God…the largest embrace in the universe, which holds visible and invisible, temporal and eternal, as one.”
So much gratefulness for these lines and deep reflections about death, and about much more I read in this wonderful book. Hardly a day passes without thinking of those two close friends although now sadness is mixed with the serene and happy feeling of having known them both.
For R. and J.-J. I chose this Vivaldi Cello Concerto, largo. I know they loved it.
The circle of life. As days go by, sorrow is followed by joy as a new life has brought happiness in my family. A baby girl, Alima, is sharing her irresistible and peaceful smile with us all. A sweet messenger of Peace as shown on the card her parents sent us :
“Jàmm rekk ! Kayra dorong ! La paix seulement”
Good wishes in Wolof, Mandinka and French. Alima’s papa comes from Senegal, her maman is my niece. The words chosen by her parents to announce their daughter’s birth mean : “Peace only or Peace be with you”.
Welcome sweet little Alima !
Over the past month, I have been asked if I was working on a new quilting project. Yes, indeed I was and still am. A quilt is finished and has been offered to my sister for her Birthday. Two others are in progress (WIP) ! But that is another story that I will tell you about later. Just a few shots to give you an idea.
June 27, 2010
“To leave, not far, just somewhere else”
This is the meaning of these words in French. The card is drawn by an artist named “marie-antoinette” and I chose it to say good-bye to two of my friends who died a few weeks ago. Hence my silence on this blog. I just did not feel like writing, please excuse my absence.
They were friends of mine but they did not know each other. We had been writing to one another for about thirteen years. Hundreds of letters from outside to inside and vice versa. We shared our daily lives, present and past, our joys as well as our sorrows, our regrets and our hopes, our memories, our reflections and just anything we felt like writing about. “Writing – someone said – is like sharing a piece of soul“; nothing was more true than these words in our correspondance.
As fate would have it, both of my penfriends – and friends – left on the same day. No accident nor illness, their death was scheduled. It is very difficult for me to explain how I have been feeling since then. Incredulity and shock would be some of my feelings, for sure. Sadness, helplessness too. And little by little, a feeling of peace for I know they reached the Light that had been so far away in almost half of their life.
Before he left, R. had written this prayer that I wish to share with you on this Sunday morning:
Holy Spirit, mysterious, ever-present yet invisible,
You are the light of our souls even when we are in darkness.
At the beginning, you brought the Son of God into this dark world, the light of life itself.
You led Jesus to his passion and your eternal spirit was there when he was on the cross.
I greatly need your help and light right now.
Help me that I do not close the eyes of my soul to you out of confusion or fear.
Help all those around me who struggle in the same darkness.
Help each of us in our present sorrow, distress and horror,
To know that you are with us, guiding, strengthening with our gifts of courage, wisdom and understanding.
Lift up our spirits even when there appears to be no human hope.