Those of you who write or create art or exercise or sing or dance know that the longer you stay away from such pursuits, the harder it is to find your way back. It’s like re-kindling an old friendship and feeling shy about re-connecting. Will she still like me? Do we still have something to say to each other?
The answer is to take baby steps. Write a few sentences, run a few blocks, meet for coffee. For that reason, I am taking on this post lightly, despite the subject being a small planet of sadness floating around in my head.
Readers, I moved and that’s why I have been absent from this blog. I allowed moving to take over my life for a few months, and I dropped everything from writing to answering voicemails to personal hygiene. More on my own move in a later post.
Relevant to this post is that at the same time I moved, my dearest friend moved out of state. Seeing each other again is a long and uncertain way off.
I’ve written about our friendship before so I won’t belabor it. Let me just say that we are as different as can be, at least in habits and modes of living, but somehow our souls are the same, or at least we align in our curiosities and appreciations and preoccupations, all the important things that make up a person.
Enough said. As promised, I’m treading lightly here. Our parting is painful and that’s how it is. I love her and that’s that.
The day the moving van came I wanted her to find a poem I’d left. I searched through a hundred and none seemed to capture how much our friendship means to me. Then an idea formed and at once was inevitable. An Irish blessing. Our Irish-ness is the first thing we discovered we had in common, and here it is, the last thing I leave to mark our days of proximity and to wish her well in the coming days of distance.
May the blessing of light be upon you,
Light on the outside, light on the inside.
With God’s sunlight shining on you,
May your heart glow with warmth,
Like a turf fire that welcomes friends and strangers alike.
May the blessing of God’s soft rain be on you,
Falling gently on your head,
Refreshing your soul
With the sweetness of little flowers newly blooming.
May the strength of the winds of heaven bless you,
Carrying the rain to wash your spirit clean,
Sparkling after, in the sunlight.
May the blessing of God’s earth be on you
And as you walk the roads,
May you always have a kind word for those you meet.
She’s moved from gray Michigan to the sunshine state, so the “blessing of light” feels just right. The blessing ends with
May you always have a kind word for those you meet
and I say, amen, sister. No one loves a stranger like Michele. We ourselves were strangers only the briefest of moments.
Slán go fóill mo chara!