The skies have turned a lot darker than the overcast day you see outside in this picture. The birds are swarming the front yard bird-feeder in an attempt to get the last few morsels before they take shelter from the threatening storm. Life abounds in summer — from the cacophony of the cicadas at night to the lush greens, yellows, and reds of flowers and vegetables ripening on the many plants our daughter, S, has planted around the house and on the back deck. A small sampling of the universe outside sits on the window sill – with one exception: the luscious-looking peaches were picked by our first-born and her husband at a local farm. There were blackberries, but I ate ’em up! It was nice of them to stop by. Usually on Sundays when the kids are with her ex, we don’t see them. I expect the empty house drove them out to seek solace in the joys of nature. In any event, we had a lovely conversation, free from the usual noisy crowd in the background:).
Today has been a fairly lazy Sunday so far. With the exception of a few loads of laundry and some knitting, I haven’t done much to speak of. Later this evening I will get ready for the onslaught of Monday: arguments and advocacy and meetings and filings that are my work week. But for now, I am enjoying the (relative) quiet – though it’s never completely quiet in this house.
I did not go to church this morning – in fact, I’ve been rather bad about my attendance these past few months. My rationalization (today, anyway) was that I had attended church yesterday – sadly for a funeral honoring the life of a really nice person who recently succumbed to illness. It was a beautiful service. Her husband had specifically requested that the choir sing at the service, so an email “APB” was sent out by our Organist Choirmaster a/k/a She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO). Those of us who could do so were there. We sang a number of the usual hymns from the 1982 Hymnal and Lift Every Voice and Sing. For a Communion Anthem, we sang “Panis Angelicus.” One can never go wrong with that piece. A small choir from the Church of the Brethren in which the deceased grew up joined us in the gallery to sing three beautiful hymns from their own hymnal, in their own way, surrounding this bereft family with love and community. In many ways, for those of us in the choir loft, that was one of the most moving parts of the service.
One part of our funeral service at St. J’s often includes reflections by family members. It was then that I experienced something eerie. The deceased’s first name was the same as that of my youngest grandchild. She, too, was the youngest in her family. I thought to myself that someday – probably about 100 years from now – someone would be talking about her – as a sister, a wife, a mother and a friend. Someday, if we try to live our lives as we should, someone will talk about each of us that way. Earlier this year, a dear colleague of mine died. The firm got together one evening to remember her, tell funny stories about her and to learn about those parts of her life that didn’t include our work, such as her extensive travels around the world and her study of Spanish to the point where she had become fluent, her great faith and her very opinionated view of what should happen when babies are born to addicts (well ok, that had to do with work), and the fact that she had contacts in high and low places and always knew the scoop on everyone and everything before anyone else did.
Whenever I hear these eulogies and other remarks about the lives of people I have liked and loved, they leave me with an intense desire to live my life as well as I can, to emulate the good things these dear people have done and way they have lived their lives – not 100 percent, but as much as makes sense to me. Believe it or not, these thoughts do not depress – they only serve to inspire.
Well, THAT was rather heavy for a knitting blog. I suppose for me, the New Year has never really been a time of resolutions. Organizing, cleaning up? Sure, but not resolutions and goals. I find myself doing that a lot more in the summertime – when cooler evening breezes and teeming life around me give cause for reflection.
Well as is usual for me, from the sublime to the…. never mind.:)
I’ve made some progress on Lily – and I think I’m getting the colors right this time. The idea of knitting the sleeves as a sort of swatch has been a good one, I think – although as I did earlier with the body, I’m knitting them in the round until the sleeve cap shaping. I need to wash and block this to see if my ideas are actually correct, but so far, so good. I’ve had to add three more colors to provide the contrast I think is needed without adding too much. I think it’s working – at least I’m cautiously optimistic.
Hopefully, the third time will be the charm.
I’ve been strangely monogamous with this project the last couple of months – not like me – so there is not much more to add.
God be with you ’til we meet again+