Sunday, October 16, 2005

A message

A friend of ours invited us up to her cottage on Georgian Bay this weekend for a little fall fun and frolic. It was pretty cold and rainy so we didn't frolic a whole lot, but we did have lots fun and lots of incredibly good food.

I learned a few things during our quick, 24-hour getaway.

For starters, table hockey, for those who've never tried it, is surprisingly exciting. And crokinole is a lot of fun too, only it might make you swear a lot...especially if you're teamed with someone better than you and your ineptitude is the only thing preventing that better player from savouring the sweet taste of victory. My apologies P.

I also learned that sometimes when you think you'll be sad, a whisper on the wind changes your mind and brings you unexpected peace.

My Beloved and I were standing on the shore of the Bay this morning, looking out across the water. The sky was a patchwork of angry looking dark blue clouds and the Bay was a pale shade of gray, punctuated by huge, foamy white waves. The roar of the waves as they crashed against the boulders of the breakwall is something you truly can't describe - and it's pretty much all you can hear when you're standing in such close proximity to the relentless pounding. Words were whipped from our mouths and carried away to the heavens, which eventually forced us into contemplative silence.

I was awed by the beauty and power of what I was witnessing, and then I started to think about the fact that Thomas will never get to see it. He'll never have a chance to stand on the shore of an ocean, lake, river or even a stream and marvel at the wonders he might see there. Just as I was about to spoil an otherwise magical moment, a line from a poem popped into my head...

I am a thousand winds that blow

Maybe it's because I've read a half a million bereavement websites since Thomas died, but I still found it strange that that line of poetry would push its way into my head so forcefully this morning.

This is the complete poem, By Mary Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

I guess it could have been me (my subconscious mind, that is) protecting myself from ruining an otherwise perfectly wonderful moment by recalling a line from this poem. That could well be all it was. Self preservation at it's best and most well-timed.

But I wonder if it was more than that - I wonder if it was a whisper on the wind that managed to make its way to me when I needed it most. Its message was not to be sad, not to be sorry for experiencing that wonderful moment because Thomas is all around me - all around both of us - experiencing everything that we are right along with us.

It was nice. I don't know who to attribute that moment of peace to, but whoever sent me the message, thank you.

And this is for you, Thomas. Even though you were already there with me to see it.


Julie said...

That was beautifully written and so reflective. {{{hugs}}}

Catherine said...

When I visited Lake Erie the other day, though I didn't have the poem, I felt the peace you speak of. I was thinking of how all that water had been up to the heavens and back again at some point or other, and I felt this peace surge through me and I felt...strong. I haven't felt that for some time now, so it was welcome. I'm glad your moment was made all the more special by the whisper from your Thomas.

Lisa P. said...

What a beautiful post... I'm sending thoughts of peace for you.