Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weeks and days passing

Writing the I’m Retiring entry put a hold on my writing. Since then …

A couple of weeks ago I spent several days working in the garden and yard. In the back garden, the iris (bought at an Iris Society sale) are blooming, Zepherine Drouhin and Lady Banks are blooming, and some of the herbs are doing well (oregano, sage, germander, lemon grass, mint, rosemary, and savory). I had let the garden go last summer while we were in Asia, but the good soil preparation years ago continues to pay off.

In the front cottage garden, roses are blooming (Old Blush, Maggie, Zepherine Drouhin, Katy Road Pink, Marie Pavié, Hermosa, and the even more wonderful Cécile Brünner), iris are magnificent (white, purple, yellow, and variations), delphinium are starting up (white, blue, pink), oxalis are carpeting in pink …

A few nights ago I awoke thinking about what it will mean to not be doing mercy and justice. For many years these have been huge part of my identity, my self – not my thoughts or beliefs, but what I do, who I be – and I’m setting it aside.

As the weeks come and go and retirement nears, I’m in a suspended state. It all seems unreal, unclear. Yet my eyes, my mind are clearer. Photo: On the right, Leslie waiting for the bus in Nepal, 1978 and on the left, Leslie on the bus in Burma, 2007. Aren't these the greatest photos!

You are the best of all my days

I’m unable to say with clarity what I’ll do, except that I’ll be in the high mountains, first with David in July and later with Jeff and (maybe) Somsai in August and September. But that only says where I’ll be and who else will be there, not how I’ll be. Oh sure, I’ll be tired, dirty, sore, sunburned, hungry, and all that other good stuff. But how I’ll really be is …
Standing alone on a mountain-top,
Looking out at the Great Divide,
My soul rising, rising, rising,
Flying, complete.

I wrote in the last entry that after Vietnam I was committed to not wasting the time of my life. I have not.

This weekend the G5 men's Bible study group went to Jim C's lake house. Like last year it was a good time - good to be in Charlie and Alayne's old house (now Jim and Nell's); good to relax with Jim, Mike, Chuck, Ken, Chris, Bryce, Rick, and Dave; good to sit on the screened porch and watch the lake, Mike fishing, the birds; good to sleep out under the stars; good to be.

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