Final Swing

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We have all been there…watching the sky turn darker and knowing that any moment the dinner bell will ring and we will have stop reaching our toes to the sky, soon to wash up and help put dinner on the table. Those final swings are often the best, you feel the wind in your hair and the chill in the air more on the swing or two after the bell.

For you it might be the last sunset of a trip to the beach, the last present under the tree, the last few drops of your mom’s perfume that has long stopped being manufactured, or holding someone’s hand as you wait for the final breath. We often experience some regret for loosing track of all the sunsets or moments before this last one. For years my husband worked on an oncology ward. He passed some of the many lessons he learned from his patients on to us. Most people don’t suffer on their death beds wishing they had worked more, or saying “so glad we skipped the hike in the woods with our small children to organize the garage.” He often punctuates a family outing, telling us someday something will separate all of us. Far from being dark or morbid, I have come to take these reminders like a snooze button on an alarm, allowing me to continue what I was doing with a new awareness that opens me to the gift. Perhaps if you are quiet, you can hear the dinner bell ring….

Harvest-Fields

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The Harvest Moon
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A touch of cold in the Autumn night
It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
Deserted, on the curtained window-panes
Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes
And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!
Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,
With the last sheaves return the laboring wains!
All things are symbols: the external shows
Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;
The song-birds leave us at the summer’s close,
Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.

4×6 study in pastel on abergine sanded paper