A Psalm for Alex, A Hymn for Life, 10 April 2010
I’m in one of those horrid, hard green swings at the farm near my house, the gift of which is that it affords me the view I most adore here – looking westward over the wide, long panorama of green fields as the sun backlights the landscape.
We have at last emerged from the drenching yellow haze of all grades of pollen into a day the likes of which we seldom see – one of such absolute sharpness and clarity, definition and intensity of color, that one wonders what Life would look like to us if we daily had such sharp vision.
In spite of my rather severe astigmatism, my bifocals are atop my head. I just can’t bear any boundary between my eyes and the land today. Glass that dulls, even slightly, the crisp Spring air and all this living Green is just not welcome atall. If my eyes were willing to close on all this beauty, I might just lie down and die, so content am I with my life at this one moment, content enough to say, “Take me now while Light and Form are so unbearably, heart-breakingly beautiful that a hundred shades of Spring are rendered all the more brilliant – is that even possible? – by the gold and ochre grasses of the farm.”
How can I feel this way and, at the same time, so deeply sorrowful? It’s because the Light has gone out of the world for some of my dear family. My cousin’s child left this Earth twenty-six hours ago when his life turned over in his car, oh so close to home and farm for a weekend away from school. Who could have imagined the moment would come so early when Alex (pronounced “Ellik”) suddenly “was” instead of “is”? Not I. Certainly not his parents, sister, family, friends… or his own dear self.
I’ve put my glasses on again; it seems important to do that as I write about how the Light has gone out of the world for the family I’ve loved so long. This cousin I held as a baby (myself not much more than one at the time) has lost her baby. Nothing can be worse; and nothing for her will ever – ever – be the same again.
I’ve moved off the hard metal swing to sit now in clover so bountiful it must be half a foot tall, and I’m longing to put a handful of it in my mouth like a mama cow would if one were still here on this farm. My love for Life rises and rises in this moment, as his parents’ love for it likely falls and falls, at least for some long time to come.
By writing this hymn for Life, I seem to be writing and singing a psalm of Living to Alex. (I know you do, son, still live.) Writing to tell you that you, beautiful Soul of Light, will somehow reflect your Light back for all of us from the higher place you so suddenly found yourself transported to one extraordinary, ordinary Spring afternoon.
Were you, like I am now, looking at fields so green your heart could scarcely stay in your chest and so, just unexpectedly, found you’d turned over into soft, sturdy clover, into achingly bright fields of gold? Whatever purpose your transition serves – and be assured, it does – know you are loved, son, beyond all imagining.
May we be comforted and sheltered now by the clear, new greening of this world, rather than mocked by its insistence of reaching ever upward, unceasing in its movement in spite of your leaving. May its song be homage to your Life, boy, and may we say, “Amen”.
© Amy Pierce and In Spiritual Wonder, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Pierce and In Spiritual Wonder with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.