In an email earlier this week I asked you these questions about the last year of our lives:
What have been the most significant changes in your life? What have you missed the most? What losses do you grieve? What have you learned you could do without? How has this year shaped your faith? Has God been present or absent? What has surprised you? What has sustained you?
Several of you have shared your answers to those questions with me and said it was okay to share them with others. Over the next few days I will be doing that. Today I share with you a poem that Maggie Harney wrote in response. It is below.
The service sheet for tomorrow is attached. And please remember that we switch to Daylight Savings Time tonight, so move your clocks up an hour before you go to bed.
See you in the morning,
You ask what I miss during this Coronatide.
There’s much I gained
that evens out the loss.
I’ve gained a year of mountain days
winter sunrise, stars, and moon,
planets moving in prescribed ways.
While spring unfurled herself birthing
flowers from dark earth, I midwifed
by her side, helping where I could.
I’ve seen enough of kids and grandkids to satisfy
the need and hunger there,
but still I miss their hugs.
I miss my friends,
our monthly luncheons in restaurants new to me,
shared memories of college days, recent books and politics.
I miss the “consequential strangers”
with whom I share my life—
the pharmacist whose mother is a priest,
the Muslim lady who checks out groceries
with the red bindi above her dark brown eyes,
the woman with the pretty braids who brings the mail.
I miss the rituals that mark the passing year—
Christmas Eve with holy carols sung by candlelight,
Merry Christmas greetings,
Ash Wednesday’s smudge and penitence,
Easter bells ringing promise of new life,
and ordinary worship week by week,
singing, saying prayers together in one voice,
as we pass the Peace.
Creation has been my consolation.
still I miss the human relations
the hugs, looking into each other’s eyes,
hearing voices raised in song or laughter.
Introverted I may be,
happy to walk in silent forests,
yet I miss and need human company.