A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.
The man said, " I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way."
I wrote : ' Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it.'
As the song goes “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til its gone”
We do not always notice what we have, the blessings we have been given until we either lose them or truly notice that others do not have them. So much of life is given unbidden, is a real grace a free gift. So much so that we do not appreciate the fruits we are surrounded but.
We need to learn to offer thanks and praise for what we have been given and to use these gifts in creative and positive ways for the good of all.
A friend said to me the other day that there had been quite a lot of death this year. I agreed I have certainly found myself being with friends and family as they have come to the end of their lives.
I spent quite some time over the summer months with a friend as his life came to an end. It was an awry experience. Yes it was painful at times, but it was also beautifully moving and definitely awe inspiring. My friend had over the last twenty years lost his sight and had also had to face many other physical difficulties. Finally he slowly succumbed to cancer. What moved me greatly about him was how he accepted whatever happened with Grace. It did not waste his life wishfully thinking that he could have back what he had lost. Don’t get me wrong of course he grieved his losses, particularly his sight, but he adjusted and he accepted. I remember several years ago marvelling at his ability to memories passages from books he had read. His memory was a real marvel as he developed a new gift that he would never have known but for the loss of his sight.
The greatest gift he gave to me as I sat with him over the last few weeks of his life, was listening to his stories. He shared a rich harvest with me. It was both a blessing and a joy to sit and listen to him. He did all the talking. In fact the last thing he said to me, just two days before he died was “The next time you come Danny, I’ll let you do some of the talking”, sadly there was not a next time.
Yes in some ways this year has been one of personal loss, but I do see seedlings and shoots of hope that can be passed on from those that have been lost. Much of who they were/are lives on.
There is a beautiful chapter in John O'Donohue's book "Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom" "Aging: The Beauty of the Inner Harvest". Below is an extract from it...
I witnessed this with my friend in the last weeks of his life as his spirituality deepened, as his soul bore his fruits and he passed this on to others. We did not do the reaping, we just feasted on the crop that he produced. I hope I can pass on what was so freely given to me. All I gave was my time.
Let us be thankful for what we have and what we have to share and see the gifts we have to give to others. For one day those very gifts may well be gone.