For the Anniversary of My Death
Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Like the beam of a lightless star
Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what
–W. S. Merwin. From The Lice (Atheneum) Copyright (c) 1967 by W. S. Merwin.
Although this poem is partially about the finality of death, it is cheerful, incredibly beautiful, and uplifting.
It is a wonderful reminder of the beauty on this planet, here and now.
It is a wonderful reminder that even in the midst of hard times, challenges and despair, life is lovely if we only shift our focus and look around.
It is also a wonderful reminder about the importance of mystery. We know very little of death and life.
A task of leadership is to instill hope and not to offer it falsely but to offer it authentically.
Acknowledging the truth first, as Merwin acknowledges that we will all die, opens the door to genuine hope.
Wren Image: Seabamirum