Sunday, January 01, 2012


The wind was so strong this evening, all I could do to steady myself was lay down on my stomach as close to the ground as I could get. A stand of tall grasses that were next to me were doing the same thing under the force of the wind. Bending so as to not break.

While lying there to get out of some of the wind a poem came to mind. I've actually heard John O'Donohue read it before so it was in his voice I heard it. And that experience also got me to thinking about how the presence of those we love, who have already departed us are always around us, not only in memory but also in many other ways, and when we least expect it they can show up to encourage us and comfort us and inspire us even in their absence. John has even spoken of that:

Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.

That's from a blessing my three daughters read at the funeral of one we all love and miss very much. And I know those words have stuck with my daughters to this day and they often tell me of things that have happened, particularly seeing rainbows, that have made them feel like Mel was close to them. Mel was good at giving my daughters some wise challenging advice at times. Especially in regards to boys. I like to think those words of his to them pop into their minds often.

And now the poem:


All night long, and all through the white day,
The beat of the wind's bulk against the house,
Pausing only for a breath, and then, again,
The rise and wail of its keening, as if I
Could come out into it, and answer
Its unbearable grief with some sweet name,
From which it could make an antiphon
To calm down its demented legion
Of breezes, or failing that, could I find
And release a granite rock, to open
A duct in the mountain, for it to enter
And search the underworld for itself.

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