In the final days of my mother’s life, I carried with me a book that was one of my father’s favourites – Edward Fitzgerald’s “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam”.
On those nights when I sat in the dark alone with her as she slept, I would read to her the poetry my father once read aloud.
“Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way to flutter
and the Bird is on the Wing.
Yesterday, as I began work on the final 2-page spread of my Sheltered Wonder art journal, the Bird of Time flew onto the page, reminding me that “Time is fleeting. Savour every moment and then, with a loving heart, let every moment go and flow with grace into the next.”
This moment in which I sit typing, watching the river flow deep and fast as spring runoff swells its waters, it is the only moment I have in which to be present within the beauty and the mystery of life and death.
Three months ago, as I sat in the dark of night in my mother’s room, reading to her, singing, holding her hand or sitting silently within the stillness of her breathing, the Bird of Time was fluttering its wings calling her home to where she yearned to go – back to her family, back into the arms of my father, her beloved Louis, back to the God who had never forsaken her.
This morning, I sit writing and the Bird of Time is on the Wing, calling me, just as the Egyptian goddess did on an earlier page, to ‘Awaken and Dare’.
There is much brokenness in this world of ours. Much despair. Anger. Fear. Death. Turmoil. Angst. Inequality. Injustice. Prejudice. Racism. Apathy. Confusion. Silence. Condemnation.
And always, in the brokenness, there is the wholeness of life. There is Love.
Yesterday, as I walked in the forest with Beaumont the Sheepadoodle and watched him run and chase the ball and stop to sniff grass and dandelions in full bloom, I was reminded of just how precious this moment is. And how filled with miracles life can be.
This turmoil that Covid has brought, the death of one man under the knee of another that has erupted in cries for justice, change and equality, perhaps they are the carriers of the miracle we have needed to force us to stop chasing after dreams of more wealth and power and to become present in the beauty of this life we embody of planet earth, our shared home.
Perhaps, they are bidding us to dare to examine our human condition and awaken to its priceless beauty, a beauty that affects each of us the same, yet different.
Every human being has skin covering a skeleton made up of bones upon which arteries and veins, organs and muscles rely. The inner workings of our human condition are the same for each of us. It is just the outer manifestation of the miracle of our life that is different for all 7.5+ bilion of us.
And, just as my mother’s passing was not the ending of my life but the beginning of a new phase, the miracle that Covid brings and the miracle that has erupted with George Floyd’s death is not a symptom of the dying off of our humanity. It is our awakening.
What we do in this moment, right now, matters. It matters how we respond, how we step forward, how we find healing, how we give and find and receive forgiveness. How we share grace.
It all matters, just as the lives of those who have died under Covid’s insidious presence matter. Just as Black Lives Matter.
It is the miracle of these times. They are not calling us to rise up and state, ‘my life matters more’. They are urging us to claim that other lives matter equally as much. And to do something about the matter.