letting go, once more

I was in Ennis and dreaming big and wide and high. Full of let’s do this retreat, silent thing and then I met Mary. Before I met Mary I was thinking of Lynda, our paths entwined as teenagers with Jo. Our stories were bound for a few scant years and I wondered what happened to the dear, sweet Lynda I remember.

Back to Mary, my silent retreat involved writing and observing, photographing in the places I visited but no words. No interactions. Just me and God. Two steps from the van the conversation started. I got a small nudge to ask this woman how she was – just weather talking. But it got deep and intense immediately. Rules of life, rural living, farming we talked and talked, rearing children, moving to town, loving our husbands. We covered it all.

Later at Ballyalla Lake I reflected on the conversation of this woman of scant meeting as I listened to children playing in canoes and the roar of builders working behind me.

it was a passing nod and hello
but turned to something intimate
as you shared your life with me.

it started with the rain
just enough to calm the farmers
I said

And you said "AK those
farmers always complaining"
"I should know" you said, "I farmed
for twenty one long years."

So how did you leave the moan alone
"I'm a glass half full girl - that's me," 
you said.

I reared 5, a boy and two children left
My good daughter's over in Liverpool
My boy, he has the farm
We moved to town after Danny's fall.

"Fall?" I asked. Why yes he took
upon a stroke one night and lost the will to live
My children they know right from wrong
they love, with great passion-olla
and they are loved, as well, well-loved.

And my heart asked silently - and you?

Later in a field as I pondered on the mission ahead and what would I find there already in place. I sang a ditty to myself. The tune “Oh Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz”

O Lord won't you tell me
in this time place and space
O Lord won't you tell me
What am I to do
My head it hurts from all the darn thinking
my heart lies low unable to see
my hands fall idle fidgeting free
O Lord won't you tell me
What am I to do.

And the response I got was this from somewhere in the ether I heard these words

Abide, abide, abide for real
abide, abide with me
union, union, union for real
union, union with me.