May You Kneel in the Grass:
Honouring Loss & Transitions
“I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
–from “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver
This morning Stacy and I woke to find that our sweet little 4-year-old cat had passed in the night. It was shocking because there were no signs she was in trouble. We said our initial goodbyes (we will have a ceremony on Monday), spent time with family, and then with each other. Tonight we’ll find a movie to watch. Maybe A Fish Called Wanda or Kung Fu Panda (my birthday movie).
Caesura was a very special being. Her name means a pause in the line of music or poetry but her nickname quickly became Caesura Storm. She came running anytime Stacy sang You Are My Sunshine, she had a thousand facial expressions and could tell you were about to crack an egg or grate cheese from three rooms away. She will be dearly missed.
It makes no sense but I also know that this is life; uncontrollable and shot through with loss, love and joy.
As I went through my day, I found myself asking Mary Oliver’s question: What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
I found myself wanting to let go of old arguments and simply love as much as I possibly could.
I found myself wanting to pay attention to the impermanent beauty of it all:
The frog pond,
the cardinals and jays in the trees,
the vibrant song of the chickadee,
the way the magnolia blossoms fall in the rain,
the big loving hug from my mother,
the sweetness of her partner,
and the softness of my partner’s hand in mine.
When I shared about her passing on social media this morning several people kindly reached out and told me they had also recently experienced loss. The reality is so many of us are walking through the world living with challenges of many kinds. Please know you are not alone.
My hope is that in my writing to you we can all honour the inevitable losses in our lives with grace and compassion.
May you kneel in the grass and find wonder in your steps
even on the hardest days.