No stories today.
Yesterday, my daughter and I did one of the things you hope you'll never have to do. We went to the funeral of a very special teenager. She really was a girl who, as the order of service simply said, was 'so brave, so loving and so loved.'
Although I think reading this line brought tears to everyone's eyes, it was the almost tangible and overwhelming feeling of love everywhere that somehow made the day bearable. The family were extraordinarily generous in both offering and accepting love too, and I think everyone was humbled by how they allowed us all to share their grief, but it's left me out of words. Instead I've been reading, turning in particular to Mary Oliver who always seems to know how to say things better.
The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your own wild and precious life?