Tuesday, April 10, 2012

First Bird

Remember: Our tears help us heal. They relieve stress and activate the immune system. Let them roll. Make space for a good cry when you need one. Get with friends who understand this.

This is advice that I gave recently to a loved one for whom Rahima's death is excruciatingly difficult, advice that I am trying to follow for myself.

The tears come often and it's okay. They alert me to what is stirring in the depths, my fear and sadness at losing Rahima. They also sharpen my awareness of the beauty that is all around. Somehow the tears help to clarify my vision, to sweep away what keeps me from seeing and appreciating life in its fulness.

As she was facing her own death, Rahima and I observed how gratitude and grief are two faces of the same reality: the appreciation, through gain or loss, of something in this life. I am finding too that grief touches on beauty. The sorrow I feel somehow opens my senses to the splendor that is all around. I clasp my hands and say, "Thank you." Who am I thanking? Good question. The spirit of Rahima and the divine beneficence that brought her into my life, but words don't really work for this. Better a generous silence...

View from the Brown House
I woke up this morning on Woolman Hill. Last night, a small group of Quaker men—wise, strong, vulnerable, funny—had their monthly gathering at my new place. It was a rich time of sharing and it felt like just the right way to start my time there. One of them stayed overnight and that too was reassuring.

When I stepped outside this morning and saw the sky lightening in the east and heard the birds, I smiled and thought to myself, "First bird." I remembered pitching a tent behind the Woolman Hill meeting house and sleeping outdoors with Rahima for a couple of weeks late last spring. Just wanting to be out in nature, we slept there at night and went to work in town during the day. We had a little game: Call out, "first bird," when you hear the first bird of the morning. "First bird."

The memories come and so do the tears. I welcome both.


Mailing Address (until September 1, 2011): 103 Keets Rd, Deerfield Massachusetts 01342

What does crying do for you?

1 comment:

  1. This made me think of the song, "Morning has Broken":

    Morning has broken, like the first morning
    Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
    Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
    Praise for the springing fresh from the word

    Hugs and cleansing tears - Liz S.