Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there; I did not die.
Now here’s a story: I was made aware of this poem through my good friend Barbara. Over a lush brunch spread at the Wayside Inn the past summer, between conversations on personal lives and, I don’t know, summer plans? My internship? The conversation somehow touched on ethics, from there, religion. Barbara told me she wasn’t exactly religious, but rather she was spiritual. She believed in non-harming—to self, to nature, and you see, there was actually a great poem her mother wrote in the latter’s younger years that reflects what Barbara was trying to say on that particular topic (I later begged her to send me the copy). If I remember correctly, the story went something like this: her mother penned her thoughts, motivated by a little friendly competition with a friend over who could write a better poem. Out came “My Cathedral,” and presuming that there was a fair judge of the contest etc. etc., Madelyn won.
The latest: dear old Dad turned a year older this weekend, opting for a quiet family lunch-dinner at an all-time favorite. And after a long week holed up in the office, I was excited to be able to spend the beautiful (cooler!) weekend outdoors, from an après-Sunday brunch stroll with a good friend around the gardens of America’s oldest inn—Longfellow’s Wayside— to strolling into some of Massachusetts’ blessedly historical neighborhoods for rich sweets and nostalgic treats.
“And when you explore, you get more imagination than you already had and when you get more imagination it makes you wanna go deeper in, so you can get more imagination and see beautifuller things. Like if it’s a path, it could be a path that leads you to a beach or something, and it could be beautiful.”
“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” Received a ‘Bon Voyage’ care package from a dear friend, Barbara, with necessities I hadn’t even thought to pack… i.e. Shout wipes? Band-Aids? She may or may not have foreseen my nonexistent luck with spills—RIP Macbook 1—and susceptibility to cuts and scrapes. And that’s what friends are for.