By my lights, the present fortnight is one of the two pleasantest times of the year. Significantly, this time is ruled by the rune Wynn, the rune of joy. Its design is said to have been based on a pennant flying in a breeze.
The first day of the fortnight was the day Dana and Jon arrived here. Yesterday was the tenth day of the 15-day period, and on it I received two pieces of news which, each in its own way, is a source of joy.
The first piece of news was contained in a letter from one of our kids in which he informed me that he has decided to adopt the same spiritual path as I have. He reached this decision on his own, independent of any influence from me. Out of respect for his deeply-held religious beliefs, I had in fact gone to great lengths to avoid anything which he might have interpreted as proselytizing. I do not think I would be guilty of exaggeration if I were to say he had become a Biblical scholar. It now fills me with immense joy that he will pour that same intense energy into learning about spiritual concepts which will bring us closer together instead of being a barrier between us. No longer will it be necessary for me to walk on eggshells whenever matters of the greatest importance to me come up in conversation. Just as important, I will now have at least two kids to whom I can entrust stewardship of the most important treasures, both material and intellectual, which I have been assembling over the last three decades.
When my life sentence is fully served, I will be able to move on with the assurance that the legacy of my life’s most joyous and satisfying work will be left in strong hands.
The second piece of news came via e-mail from Genevieve, one of Holly’s two best friends: “Mom flew… On her B’day. Mom had a heart attack about 10 days ago. She was released from the hospital to hospice care at home a week ago and died on Friday, October 19, her 98th Birthday.” ‘Mom’ was Mame Eilertson, one of the nicest ladies I have ever known. She always had a smile, a kind word, and a sweet disposition. She made Holly’s wedding dress and was a loved and valued member of our extended family. It may seem strange to say that her death is a source of joy, but for about fifteen years she has been suffering the effects of age-related dementia, and Genevieve has been Mame’s primary caregiver over all that time. Genevieve was loyal, patient, loving, and attentive to her mother the whole time. And now Genevieve is liberated and free to pursue her own life, unencumbered, with absolutely no regrets. How many people in Genevieve’s situation find themselves in such an enviable position?
When you think about it, peace of mind is an exceedingly rare thing in our anxious world. Whether happy or sad, beginnings and endings are the markers of our flights of peace and joy.
Genevieve and I are both blessed.
Groove of the Day