by Louise Gallagher

Gathering, the circle draws us near
candlelight flickering
on precious faces held so dear
sharing stories of our days
laughing and teasing one another
as only those whose stories have been woven
through the warp and weft of this family tapestry can
because we know
there is no distance too far
that cannot be bridged by two hearts
beating together and weaving stories 
full of memory and love of life
shared within the circle. 

As we thread our stories
together, laughter, memories and love rises
and we raise a glass in silent honouring
of all the hearts who lost their beat
in those days, not yet past but slowly now,
slipping away,
when we could not gather with family and friends 
because only the distance between us
could keep us safe.

We are gathering now
drawing near
stretching our arms around one another,
curving into bodies touching, heart to heart
and savouring these times 
where we can feel them beat 
in time
as we gather and share
laughter, love and memories of times past
and loved ones lost and feeling grateful
for those who made it
through to be here now,
gathering, the circle drawing us near,
holding us safe
from where so many have gone
leaving behind only memories 
to light the empty spaces left behind.

15 thoughts on “Gathering

  1. Powerful! Thought-provoking!
    As we slowly, very slowly, attempt to emerge from our Covid-influenced cocoons (do not like bubbles, sounds like a cheap version of Veuve Clicquot!), we face the reality of a new normalcy. I, for one, am still reluctant to throw the doors wide open to embrace the ever-loosening restrictions. Too many times we have had to revert back, sometimes not fast enough, as those nasty tentacles of Covid’s insipid re-ignite.
    Yet, Dear Friend, your words bring comfort, peace of mind, that it may be time to begin to grasp the concept of gathering beyond the pall of the past 18+ months. Slowly, very slowly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Australia has fared so much better than we have Joanne. Here in Alberta, the counts are still high, vaccination rates not high enough, and the toll of Covid continues to steal too many lives.

      Many hugs my friend. ❤


  2. Beautifully heartfelt and poignantly touching Louise … I had a very similar gathering yesterday, a meeting of friends after an extraordinary 18 months of lockdown .. . with deep combined feelings of joy, relief, love, and fuzzy tingling warmth … 🤗😉😍🌏

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is precious to gather with family and friends. Maybe we all appreciate this more than ever?

    I was most struck by your ending lines.
    “leaving behind only memories
    to light the empty spaces left behind.”

    Memories, being the loving light, that remains with us forever. That we can hold on to.
    Enjoy your time tonight.
    Sending you love,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your poem is a journey giving glimpses of life, how it has been and how it is. So deeply touching, beautiful. I could feel the crowding, the distancing and the precious gathering again – such deep joy felt, such deep grief that has passed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And over here in Sask as deaths and ICU’s are overfull we are personally drawing back. The government is too weak knee to put in any restrictions but we are super careful about what we do and where we go. Way more so than 2 months ago despite the fact that my entire family are fully vaccinated except for the grandchildren who are too little — hence why we need to be careful. Lovely poem. Such evocative words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alberta and Sask have been the poster children of ‘what not to do in a pandemic’. Our rates are dropping but the death toll is still heart-breaking and tragic and a reflection of our lack of good leadership. I keep thinking our Premier will step down but that’s just wishful thinking.
      We too were pulling back but are slowly easing — while still keeping caution at the forefront of all our interactions.
      I am off to Vancouver tomorrow to spend time with my grandchildren — I welcome the day such travel doesn’t also carry fissures of worry in the back of my mind.


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