The day my sister Dale died in 1981, I was surprised to find myself momentarily alone in her living room. I picked up a book of poetry. As I placed the book in my lap, it flipped open and the first words I read were:
We who are left, how shall we look again
Happily on the sun, or feel the rain,
Without remembering how they who went
Ungrudgingly, and spent
Their all for us, loved, too, the sun and rain?
A bird among the rain-wet lilac sings—
But we, how shall we turn to little things
And listen to the birds and winds and streams
Made holy by their dreams,
Nor feel the heart-break in the heart of things?
New to me at the time, it was a poem written at the end of World War I by William Lyon Phelps. It gave me gooseflesh and has remained with me ever since.
Wishing those others who are left, in so many places around the world, the chance to someday not feel the hearbreak in the heart of things.
I have no rain-wet lilacs. But I have heard birds singing among San Geraldo’s sun-drenched hibiscuses. So, I’ll share those and finish with a smile from a sweetly dreaming Dudo (he of the toothy grin).