Written after hearing that a very dear friend has secondary lung and bone cancer….
I would drink in the reds and russets of the leaves by the river on my morning walks
And revel in the incandescent light
Burning through the morning mist-
I would savour the damp earth fungus scents
And eat blackberries, blood stained
And apples, crisp from the tree, and stolen plums from the neighbour’s garden.
I would get up and climb a mountain, go rowing, play tennis – revel in the power of my limbs – if they worked.
I would tell all my loved ones that they were just that – loved – dearly and deeply
I would tell those who had blessed me how much it meant to me,
And let those who had influenced and changed my life know what part they had played in the canvas of my life, and
How their gifts had passed from them to me and onto many others, like the ripples
Of a stone tossed into the water.
I would ask forgiveness of those whom I had hurt
And set the record straight where misunderstandings had occurred.
I would plant….
Trees and roses and jasmine and honeysuckle..
And spring bulbs to celebrate the continuation of life after death,
And so that someone might be blessed by the rich scent of rose, or the dappled shade of a tree, the miracle of colour after a grey winter..
And maybe think of me, and grieve and be glad for my loss and my life.
I would paint pictures and write stories and poems for my daughter
That tell her important things I would like her to know
And give her wings to soar, glide and divebomb through this life-
And letters for her special occasions – graduation, marriage?,children?
So that she would deeply understand that
love does not end with death
I would make huge collages of our years together
And make great memories from our great memories…
I would notice the little things about her every day
And let her know how beautiful she is, body and soul,
And how much she is loved and will always be loved,
And pray that she will be able to take that love and know that she is deeply worthy of being loved, of connection..
Or listen to heartbreakingly beautiful music,
And watch our favourite films.
I would stop sweating the small stuff!
I would speak kindly to the fear that rises with me on waking
And know that I have faced my biggest fears and survived them.
And if I had any energy left, I would try and change the world, to leave it a better place…………………………………………………
But who knows our allotted span of days?
And if that is what I would do, maybe now is a good time to start!