Let me remember beyond forgetting –
let me remember –
let me remember always
for my spirit is often shrouded in the mists –
let me remember beyond forgetting
that my life is not a solitary thing –
it is a bit of the rushing tide
a leaf of the bending tree
a kernel of grain in the golden wheat fields
a whisper of wind
a reflection of sunlight
it is fleeting –
it is of the moment
it is timeless –
it is of eternity.
~Sing With the Wind by Winston O. Abbott
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Abbott seems to know well of the moments that somehow are both timeless and fleeting away. Our Advent journeys lend themselves to reflections like these. Our life events just can’t be categorized or inventoried. This journey to Bethlehem, these days of wondering and wandering offer time for gathering-in what is still precious. For offering prayers of thanks for gifts given and received. And these Adventing days are for letting go of what is no longer needed, of letting go of what is too painful, too burdensome for even one more step.
Let me remember…let me remember beyond forgetting… Abbott’s words are from a little book of poems published in 1968. It was given to me by my grandmother, Dorky in the summer of 1978. It is a beautiful keepsake that has been packed and unpacked and re-packed over the years. I wonder why my New England grandmother gave it to me. Was it the simple drawing on the cover of tall grass that reminded her of her kin in Illinois? Did she thumb through it and land on a poem that reminded her of me? Was it this one? She died in 1986, so I will never know. But today I’m grateful for her gift. I love that she was thinking of me and now, years later she’s with me as I am remembering her.
Let me remember… hands held through the years. My maternal grandfather had age-spotted, farmer hands. Not really a talker, instead he was more a “patter.” My most treasured interactions with him were times after supper at their dining room table. His hands would be resting on that white tablecloth, and I would lay my hand on top of his. And then he would put his other hand on mine and pat. No words or even eye contact, but in that simple gesture I felt his intentional, deep connection to me.
And let me remember… smaller hands held. I treasure that brief window of time holding the hands of Brogan and Sam as they were growing up. Now their hands envelop mine, but there was a precious time when we would be walking along and each of them would reach up for me and I could fit their entire hand in between my thumb and first finger. I wish I could remember some of those walking-conversations, but I treasure the memory of holding each boy’s hand.
Let me remember beyond forgetting…with friends and family. Feasts around tables. Abundances of laughter, tender tears, treasured stories shared and held in loving hearts. Square and round tables, small and large. Endings and beginnings again. Walks along the beach and walks around the block. Waiting for sunrises and savoring sunsets. Walking around gardens at Lullwater and Central and Egleston. Songs around campfires or playing guitar in the backseat on trips. Phone calls and facetiming and zooming. Drives across country. Singing in stairwells. Let me remember …so many things. I know that my life has been blessed over and over and over again. How precious to imagine a place in my heart that is somewhere beyond forgetting.
Remembering God, how great your heart must be. Day-after-day from before we even knew time, you have been remembering the greatest and smallest of us, all that you have created. You have been holding on to hearts broken and healing, spirits singing and dancing. God of immeasurable time, your heart holds us in this very moment. And we are so very thankful for that. Amen and amen.