I have so many wonderful memories, and it went by so quickly, that piecing it all together is like finding small gems, each with their own exquisite significance, to carefully file away and savor in retrospective gratitude.
My parents joy in having us all home, their smiling faces and their loving arms outstretched and welcoming to all who came to celebrate their lives. Meeting children and family whom I had never met before, seeing old friends, and rekindling a love for the historical and beautiful place where I was raised.
Indeed England was at her best this September, with a true “Indian Summer” as an advent to autumn. We were there for the Equinox, when the light of the day is equal to the darkness of the night. The skies were blue, and the air was warm. The smell of the sea air was fresh, and the light shimmered on the water, in different shades of sunlit silver.
I had taken a short break from blogging, and have been researching different subjects to illustrate with poems and artwork. But I find myself still in a bit of a slump, having contracted a tinge of bronchitis, and feeling rather unenthusiastic.
So I am going to bring a few poems to you that embody the sentiments that I am feeling, and hope that you will enjoy their message.
Fair and exquisite and clear
Broken in a million pieces
Shattered, scattered far and near
Now and then along life’s pathway
Lo! Some shining fragments fall
But there are so many pieces
No one ever finds them all
You may find a bit of beauty
Or an honest share of wealth
While another just beside you
Gathers honor, love or health
Vain to choose or grasp unduly
Broken is the perfect ball
And there are so many pieces
No one ever finds them all
Yet the wise as on their journey
Treasure every fragment clear
Fit them as they may together
Imaging the shattered sphere
Learning ever to be thankful
Though their share of it is small
For it has so many pieces
No one ever finds them all
The church has a Norman foundation but only the low western tower survives from the Norman period. The chancel and nave were rebuilt in the 15th century.
My Grandparents, Earnest and Grace Woodfield are buried there.
After the christening we enjoyed communing with our daughters, Charlotte and Vita, who had travelled from Ecuador and San Francisco to join the family fun; and meeting with friends and family for refreshments and the traditional Christening cake, at the local sailing club.
My parents were thrilled to begin their 90th year with such a happy occasion, and it was just the introduction to an exciting and event filled week.
Later that week, we journeyed out to Bracken Tor on Dartmoor for the actual party venue, where we spent a weekend of fun and frolics, culminating in a huge party, with wonderful food, self-made entertainment and music; not to mention the ever memorable Merlina, ( Merlin Cousins), singing Jolene, which has become a bit of a family tradition…J
There were babies and children, and husbands and wives, old friends and new friends, and those who were sadly missed. Despite the chaos, Mum and Dad managed to harness their energy, and enjoy the whirlwind fun, leaving them with a huge book of memories, photos, pictures and poems to read and enjoy later when the dust had settled.
I was reunited with several of my dear friends who I have known since childhood, and have cherished my parents as their own. I was reminded that old friends are always my most treasured relationships, and even those who weren’t there became present in my mind and heart.
There is very little division between old friends and family. In fact, old friends can become even more cherished because they do not rest on the still laurels of the family tree.
MAKE new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold
New-made friendships, like new wine
Age will mellow and refine
Friendships that have stood the test
Time and change are surely best
Brow may wrinkle, hair grow gray,
Friendship never knows decay.
For 'mid old friends, tried and true,
Once more we our youth renew.
But old friends alas may die,
New friends must their place supply.
Cherish friendship in your breast--
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
I had known Caroline Hemming all my life, and she and her late husband, John Hemming, had been my parent’s bosom friends since college.
We travelled down to Constantine, in the depths of old Cornwall to her funeral in the beautiful old church of Constantine. The funeral was an uplifting tribute to her life, but her passing weighed heavy on my Mother’s heart especially.
I waited with her in the church while Caroline was buried in her simple wicker casket, decorated with Oak leaves and wild flowers, befitting to her character and love of nature.
The terrain of the ancient graveyard was too rough for Mum’s wheel chair.
But my Father returned with the most beautiful story of her committal to the earth.
The lowering of Caroline’s coffin was serenaded by a Flute and Violin, playing “Speed Bonnie Boat”, one of her favorite duets to sing. As the flute and violin broke into blissful harmony from unison, so then did the birds rise from the surrounding hedgerows, and sang with the instruments, as they took to their wings in flight.
Caroline was an artist, and her most favorite subjects were birds and flowers of the hedgerows. It seemed then as if she were sending a joyful message as her spirit rose.
THE DAYs grow shorter,
the nights grow longer;
The headstones thicken along the way;
And life grows sadder, but love grows stronger
For those who walk with us day by day
The tear comes quicker, the laugh comes slower;
The courage is lesser to do and dare;
And the tide of joy in the heart falls lower,
And seldom covers the reefs of care.
But all true things in the world seem truer
And the better things of earth seem best,
And friends are dearer, as friends are fewer,
And love is all as our sun dips west.
Then let us clasp hands as we walk together
And let us speak softly in low, sweet tone,
For no man knows on the morrow whether
We two pass on or but one alone.
ELLA WHEELER WILCOX.
There we climbed the Glastonbury Tor, and reveled in the lush and stately grounds of Glastonbury Abbey.
The Abbey was founded in the 7th century and enlarged in the 10th. It was rebuilt in 1184 after being destroyed by a fire. The Abbey was suppressed and partly destroyed by Henry 8th during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and the last Abbot was hanged, drawn and quartered on Glastonbury Tor in 1539. The rest of the Monastery was pilfered during the 17th and 18th centuries for the building stone.
Glastonbury has been associated with the legend of King Arthur, and the medieval monks claimed that Glastonbury was Avalon.
While in the grounds, I took some lovely photographs, and I was struck by the age of this ancient and magnificent Elm tree. I am sure that could the tree speak, it would tell us many tales from Glastonbury’s colorful past.
I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
JOYCE KILMER. ACE
I am full, and I am satiated.
I thank you all for dropping by to read my blog, and hope that you will find something worth your while to take away.
Have a lovely week.