As in the great Bob Marley song, “three little birds” came to my bedroom window recently. They were robins. But only one came right in front of the window as if to tell me something. Well he did because later that day I heard that my lovely uncle Pat, Mum’s older brother, had passed away. (What’s with the robins I ask myself? I mentioned in an earlier post how these tiny winged creatures often appear around a death). I was very upset about this news and cried a lot over that weekend. It felt as if part of my childhood in Kerry had disappeared with him. I recall how he would saunter into my grandparents house in Tralee, of a day, saluting us all “down from Dublin”. Then with a lovely smile, he’d saunter back out again. That’s how I remember this warm hearted man. So I’ve dedicated the Johnny Cash song ‘Girl from the North Country’ to him. May he rest in peace.
Otherwise, we celebrated the birth of a much awaited new second cousin. Born on the 11th March 2013 Hamish Arthur Pank graced his parents with his presence in a Surrey hospital. Welcome Hamish! Can’t wait to meet you!
To finish, some photographs from our local parade on St Patrick’s day.
Joni Mitchell: “Both Sides Now”
My son is in the church making his first confession and a new pope just got elected. I’m sitting in my chair and wondering about all this. So much has changed in my life over the past few years that has influenced my faith and beliefs.
I believe we are all part of a God/Higher-Power, or whatever name you want to call the “life behind life” (Brandon Bays). And we are connected to this energy through love. People like Thich Nhat Hahn (Nobel peace prize winning Buddhist monk, author of many books of poetry and mindful living) continue to influence and inspire me. Many years of meditation and attempting to live in the present moment have kept me going and, I would even say, have kept me alive over the past few years!!
Others who influence and inspire me wouldn’t be the Pope or many of the priests that I have heard. It’s a rare treat to go to mass and hear somebody speaking to the heart and feeling like you really are ‘present’ to something wholly beautiful. Most of the time it’s sanctimonious pomposity from the altar which leaves me cold. So I choose not to go.
Around the time my Dad died (nearly 14 years ago now) we knew an inspired Redemptorist priest who celebrated the Eucharist with every breath he took. The experience of the union taking place on the altar between mind and heart was pure poetry. Another close friend, a Dominican, has also really helped me especially two years ago when I was going through a particularly difficult time. My limbs were ceasing to work and I was terrified. He came and talked to me and Jonnie. I found a great sense of peace talking and praying with him. And said to Jonnie ‘he really is a man of God ‘
I will leave you now with a quote I love:
“the miracle is not to walk on water, the miracle is to walk on this earth”
(Thich Nhat Hahn)