When I wrote last week about what gives me solace, a couple of people who commented suggested that I might read some of John O'Donohue's writings. I recall the poem, "Beannacht"
, which Cate included in her blog tribute to him just after his passing. Lila suggested I read his poem about death walking with us, and, though I have encountered it in the past, I cannot find it right now. The only one of his books I could lay my hand on in my house was "Eternal Echoes". (One thing that has happened me in these few weeks is that my memory has been affected. My instinctive knowledge of my bookshelves has been erased or diminished greatly. I can't find my away around my own library. Strange and scary!)
In "Eternal Echoes" I read:
"Despite its severity, the consolation at a time of grief is that it is a journey. Grief has a structure; it knows the direction and it will take you through... Experience always knows its way. And we can affort to trust our souls much more than we realize. The soul is always wiser than the mind, even though we are dependent on the mind to read the soul for us. Though travel is slow on the grief journey, you will move through its grey valley and come out again onto the meadow where light, colour and promise await to embrace you..."
"The soul is always wiser than the mind, even though we are dependent on the mind to read the soul for us."
I know this. My soul knows this. My heart knows this. My bones know this. We all really know this. The soul seeks out what it needs. My sister sought me out this week. She came up to stay a few days on Monday, and we followed her need for the sea, to put her feet in the sea.
Do you know the consolation of poetry? Imagine at a time like this having the sudden opportunity to hear Billy Collins and Seamus Heaney read together! We went on Tuesday evening, and that was soul-healing.
Yesterday, we worked in my garden, clearing, tidying, and filling pots with colour. My sister helped me make a space in which it is a pleasure to sit once more, and in the evening, we lit candles and torches and sat to welcome two friends for a visit.
We turned to our SoulCollage® cards. I seleced four cards to suggest what would support me in this grief journey. The first card I pulled was my "Caring Gardener", and I was so surprised! When I speak from that card, I'm reminded that, as I care for the earth, the earth cares for me and keeps me in contact with the cycles of life. (I share the full SoulCollage reading on my SoulFragments blog HERE) This is a really important part of the grief journey, I'm sure.
I know that if I were to return to visit this garden I visited in March, when the above photo was taken, those spaces will be filled with lush and colourful plants and vegetables. Prior to our mother's death, both my sister and I had spoken of our intention to make a vegetable-garden next year. It seems all the more important to us now that we should carry this out - on however small a scale, we both feel the need to grow something that will nurture.
I am trusting my soul to know the next steps on the journey.
Labels: grief journey