Life Lesson: Joy and Woe

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Recently, I along with several others visited a friend who is ill. It was a bittersweet trip as her prognosis looks bleak. As we gathered outside on her plantation-style wraparound porch a fine rain fell to the ground. There was a sense of hush and quiet that was only intensified by the rain. Cool spring air and dampness instinctively urge you to draw near to each other and the weather creates a closeness that the sun often burns off.

We sat around in rocking chairs and swings sharing stories of our own and a collection of others’ written memories.

But more than that we shared silence, we shared a communal space to hear the birds, the rain, the trees as they bent to and fro in the soft breeze. We heard the plodding footfalls of nearby cows and we were present. The silence was heavy with sadness and what we fear for the future. And it was electric with the menagerie’s energy and desire to hold space for this kind of being.

Tears were shed often and freely as were smiles and laughter.

During this experience, one person shared reading a book on the flight the day before. And a quote by William Blake caught their attention:

“Joy and woe are woven fine.”

They are and they were on Saturday afternoon. I never knew how close till then.

Not long after it was time to head for home. With heaviness and almost a sense of finality we departed the long, wet gravel drive. I could see the gorgeous, southern, pillared home in the rearview mirror. But when I looked ahead I am carrying it all with me.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,

Lowi & G

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