Absence from these pages for the past few days is the result of a full, frenetic schedule. It’s not for a lack of something to say. Quite the contrary. National news as well as moral and spiritual issues abound and deserve comment. They have to wait!
This is a week of two funerals while preparing for the exciting prospect of my nephew’s family — six kids ages 4 to 13 — descending upon us tomorrow. Death and life, somnolence and exuberance — the polarities of a full human life!
My dear friend Jeffrey Cloninger is juggling the heights and depths of what it is to be alive as well. From this familiar place of full-throttle living he shared a poem he crafted earlier this past weekend. I am eager and grateful to share it with you as an expression of what our lives hold:
It’s June, and I can look West every evening
And know the hour by the setting sun.
But that’s easy, for even though it’s always too soon
Don’t we all know it’s coming.
Recently I discovered the sound of day’s end.
I wasn’t expecting it.
I didn’t know I could or even wanted to hear it.
And yet, late every winter, and every spring and summer night
It’s been there.
Even in the fall, amid the leaves once flush with life,
Now the color of dusk,
It happens like clockwork, but the easy, non-machinated kind.
So common, so a part of the revolution of the hours,
For years I missed it.
How could I?
He announces himself with such flurry and excitement – heralding the
Bold dance of night: boundless opportunity in the space of darkness.
All at once
In call and answer
(Psalm and response)
It is Cardinal.
He goes on for a bit, as do I:
Making dinner, folding laundry, reading the mail.
Then, as it always happens,
His tune ends minutes before dark.
I will go first, Cardinal says.
Come, follow me.
Someday, I will.
For now, I listen to the notes of what faith is
And wait patiently
For his song
On the light sides of the night.