Thanksgiving, and my children and grandchildren… This morning Kate and her husband “Tom” are arriving at my house, and tomorrow at Pearl’s bunches of us will be together and glad to be so. It will be our first holiday without Papa, Grandpa, without my husband. We will miss him terribly but we will pray in hope of the Resurrection, and be comforted.
I was amazed to run across this poem just this week, in my own ninth month of mourning. Every time I read it I feel more connection with the poet, another woman who has grieved for her husband, and who has more than survived. She captures the sense of wildness in grief, the forces beyond our control, even to the degree that we can’t so much as name them.
I had never thought before about how the places that we find so sublime are the result of winds and raging currents and upheavals that in themselves are often fearsome. It’s a mystery how all of this comes to be, but of course it doesn’t “just happen.” If after endless waves of storms we can behold beauty and feel peace, it’s a work of God.
Mourning, Ninth Month
If I am altering,
trying to intercept my inner targets
with some shift in aim,
lighting the bales with the old moon’s shell
neither meaningful nor purposeful
just looking well,
with some obedience, wishing I could recognize
the force. I don’t know yet if it is thoughtless.
Many beautiful formations on earth
are made without hope, but with winds and rivers
in its stead.
Is my national park
a widow, carved then saved, and a draw
whose pity erodes to awe?