Friday, January 18, 2013

Murray Creek Pilgrimage

Entry for 29 Dec 2012 – 5 Jan 2013

1. Time Passes

Going on, living, amid the many changes,
Six months later, your children wait to see:
How does this new empty place feel?

Especially at this time of year, we are missing you,
Our missing mother, our vanished parent;
And we miss our father more for missing you.

The celebration we had to mark your passing
Is months past, and now we return
To see how we might learn to be here.

2. Arriving

As I approach the valley, I remember other times
Driving here with you or dad, or arriving to see you,
The feeling of relief, of coming home.

Now all but Anna converge on Murray Creek:
I think we seek to fill the sudden sinkhole,
Yet sense instead your absence still more keenly.

We come to fill the empty spaces,
But the valley is still, and filled with absence,
Like mist rising or smoke from burnt-out fires.  

3. Gathering

At Christmas a year ago, expecting your return,
We bought you a fridge that you never saw.
Now we fill it with food for another family feast.

We light the fires, check the wireless network,
Walk your labyrinth in the fading light,
Raise and right the creek-misplaced bridge.

For a while your house is filled with chaos
And happy confusion, as children and grandchildren,
Relive and renew what we had with you.

4. Communion

Next day, after breakfast, we begin the sacrament
Of sorting through your things, sacred and mundane:
Books and talismans; trinkets and clothes.

We begin by taking back the gifts, those bits
Of ourselves we gave to you again and again;
Then, some bits of you for the selves we are remaking.

I take some Teilhard de Chardin and Goddess books,
And cache a celtic cross and a shamanic crystal:
Food and drink for the self I am becoming.

5. A New Year

New Year’s Eve: I drive to Anna’s
To complete the circle.  We leave your last year
And enter a new one, the first without you.

Returning to the place where you left us,
I find your echo in the familiar, final spaces,
Prove to myself: you are gone here too.

But we talk, and drink, to you and the new year. 
Your children are still here, and we take you with us:
Into our next pilgrimage, our next new story.

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