Archive for August, 2011

While the day of our entry and exit to/from this world are not normally something we could select even if we wanted to (and most wouldn’t want), there is one date combination that Americans might pick more than any other: to be born and die on Independence Day, July 4th. Last month I attended a memorial service of a woman, Shirlee Key, who had that distinction (about a 1 in 130,000 chance*), and from the stories of her life it was obvious that she was well loved and the distinctiveness of her life was not in those dates, but in a life well lived.

About a year ago Shirlee’s grandson, whom I knew, died tragically, starting my leisurely (or let’s say deliberate instead of slow) journey to write a poem. At that time I managed to get all the way through the title. Shirlee’s passing has motivated a completed Haiku version as a preliminary release; the final poem rendition, that’s a deep and touching thing of beauty, is scheduled for the very distant future.

The nice thing about creating a Haiku poem, as I practice it (using 5 – 7 – 5 syllables in three lines), is that you’re never more than 17 syllables from the end. Some Haiku-ists are not so adamant about the syllable count in English Haiku, seeings as the form developed in the Japanese language.

Anyway, here it is, a teensy-tiny glimpse of the transition to glory that’s ingrained in the Christian view of reality.

The Final Dawn

Eyes close one last time
Winter yields to sudden Spring
Wake to endless light


* The actual odds are not quite 1 in (365)2 since there are not equal chances of being born or dying on each day. But it’s close, since there are fewer deaths in the summer, but more births in the summer. Maybe something to look at in a future post.


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