Sunday, April 05, 2009

Three Years

Three Years

On Monday, it will have been three years since I expired in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. I will also turn sixty-five this year. Since I was never expected to live to the ripe old age of fifty, every moment of every day is precious.

Having come back through the mist more than once, people often say that I have so much strength, so much determination, but that is not the bottom line. That is not exactly what has brought me back repeatedly and what keeps me here. I believe it was and is courage, the courage to accept the love that is offered to me and to trust that love to hold me safe.

There is a reason, a purpose that keeps me coming back. I believe part of that reason is to share my Journey, to show others the beauty I see, to give hope where I can. Even when we have to struggle to live this life, not just to exist but to embrace all that life has to offer, there are moments of such sheer beauty that can sustain us. These magic moments are sometimes so fleeting that we can miss them if we are not living in the moment.

One such moment in my life happened a few years ago while driving along the east coast of Nova Scotia. It was early summer and a beautiful sunny day. We rounded a corner and glimpsed a small marshy area with a mass of pink water lilies. We stopped to find ourselves with a sea of pink on the left and a small bay on the right. The bay was lined with stones worn smooth by the pounding of the waves rolling them back and forth against each other. Standing there between two very different but very powerful faces of nature brought tears to my eyes. I was humbled by such beauty. My feeling was similar to that of deep meditation, a connectedness with All That Is.

When I contemplate such things as the great whales who cruise the oceans keeping their secrets to themselves, or the migration of every fourth generation of the tiny Monarch butterfly, I am in awe.

This is a poem that for me, captures that sense of wonder.

High Flight by John Gillespie Magee, RCAF, 1920-1939

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,
And danced the skies on laugher-silvered wings;
Sunward, I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle flew –
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the Face of God.

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