Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The last day of May
and the end of autumn.

It has been the warmest May on record
in Aotearoa - New Zealand.

Warm and wild
with tornadoes
and earthquakes and floods.

Here in Hamilton
'where hardly anything ever happens'
it was mostly sunny or a lovely big rain
and the countryside around is still lush and green
from the warmth and wet
and crazily spring flowers have bloomed.

This afternoon I walked to visit an old friend
who rang to tell me he is dying.

It was a beautiful afternoon,
balmy and warm.

We walked in his garden.
I admired his 'last broccoli' that he expects not to eat.

We sat and reminisced
and he enchanted me with stories of his young days
and his last trip.. to New York.

Still making plans,
he told me about a painting he has comissioned ..
a metaphor of his life,
and where it will hang.

Still greatly living to the end and doing this dying thing
with such elegance, everything in order.

How wonderful to talk together so easily about dying.

I walked home feeling a deep peace.
It was a visit I will hold in my heart forever.
A gift from an old friend.

The words of Gandi kept echoing in my mind..

'When I go to sleep, I die.
When I awake, I am reborn.'

How wonderful it is when the circle gently closes
in peace.

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  1. My heart skipped a beat as I read this lovely tribute to your friend, Joan, and the gift he has given you in his last days, as well as the gift you have given him in your presence. Blessings and peace to you this day, my blogging friend from the other side of the world. Penny

  2. "How wonderful it is when the circle gently closes in peace." - how beautiful and how true and, I fear, so rare.

    It is something to be able to discuss death head-on, isn't it? Your friend sounds incredibly wise and blessed.

    The gift of friendship never stops giving.