Monday, 18 January 2016

Ordinary miracle of every day

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.
                                   ~ Ernest Dowson, from Vitae Summa Brevis


At chapel on Sunday we had the reading with the wedding at Cana-in-Galilee – the one where Jesus changes the water into wine.

I thought about what the ruler of the feast said to the bridegroom when he tasted the Jesus wine: Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now (John 2.10).

It brought to mind days long gone when I spent most of my time in hospice, travelling along with people in the very last bit of their lives.

I lost count of the number of people – this became commonplace – who told me these had been the best, the finest and most precious weeks of their lives. A treasure-store, really, discovering the riches of love and being loved, of honesty and kindness, often of forgiveness and reconciliation. Laying down of earthly burdens, turning away from the complications and machinations of what passes for life as usual, to a bright simplicity before the open door to heaven, its borrowed light.

Over and over again, rulers of the feast of life God had set before them, they expressed their surprise: Thou hast kept the good wine until now.

Could we, I wonder, start now? Appreciate that in this living moment, these are the roses, this is the wine, God’s good gift. Or at least drink the water, and wait for the miracle to begin.


8 comments:

Julie B. said...

Very personally meaningful to me, dear Ember. Yes. Thank you. xoxo

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

kat said...

every day so precious ... oh yes, most definitely xx

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

Dave Hall said...

Re-reading this very moving book and came upon your blog. Reminded me of my father-in-laws last days and wanting to live out the lessons learned and observed as much of what you describe took place especially between Hugh, his wife, Dottie and his 4 children.

Pen Wilcock said...

What was the book you were reading, Dave?

Dave Hall said...

Hawk and Dove Trilogy. I was discussing dreams remaining on my bucket list with a friend recently and mentioned that I plan to write a screenplay. He asked what I would write and I said since I first read the Hawk and Dove Trilogy I could see the scenes being played out in my minds eye. I first read it out loud to my wife and I recall several times I had to stop reading because I could no longer see the page through my tears. I have always had a fascination with all things monastic. Thank you for writing this beautiful work. It is one of my favorites.

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh right - you were thinking of The Long Fall. I'm so glad you're liking the series. Books 7 and 8 are out at the end of February, and Book 9 - the last in the series - will be out at the end of July.