Requiem for a Rector…

You died three weeks ago,

Early, on a Monday morning…

And that same evening we built a shrine,

A testimony to your lifelong pilgrimage:

Inspirational, spiritual teacher,

Minister,

Friend,

Scholar and academic,

Loving, compassionate, gentle soul,

Who tirelessly sought the Truth and the Light.

Wisdom and Knowledge were yours…

In abundance…

And these you brought to our Monday Philosophy group,

Blessing us with your presence and open heart.

The table by your chair no longer host to the

Customary glass of water and scant cup of coffee…

But now a celebratory altar of your soul’s journey…

Heavy, heavenly hearted prayer,

Deep outpouring of grief and sadness,

Flowing from hearts, shaken and shocked,

Frayed and tattered emotions mingling,

Seeking comfort and consolation,

Crying at the seemingly sudden, unexpected,

Premature void left behind…

Your soul called to make the journey Home.

For you, all is now clean and clear,

Dirt and dust wiped away,

The mirror now polished to perfection,

And that which was once but a reflection,

Which was once unknown and hidden,

Is gloriously and radiantly revealed.

And what of this sacred inventory?

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A white pillar candle in Swedish holder,

You hailed from those Nordic, Viking lands,

Speaking often of rune stones and Ragnarok,

And of indigenous folk who spoke to Nature,

With a reverence and  respect for the Earth,

Who saw, as you did, the spirits that live among us,

Our gracious guides, tenderly tending each faltering footstep,

And each hesitant twist and turn along the Way,

As we proceed forwards precariously back to our beginning!

***

A pewter chalice holding water from the White Spring at Glastonbury,

And you, a much seasoned traveller to this holy well,

This blessed corner of England, by you, so dearly loved.

Isle of Avalon, shrouded in mystery and ancient legend.

***

Pink and green banded Iona rock, imbued with the songs

Of Celtic Saints, who called to you to follow in their wake,

Their lifestories quenching your soul’s thirst and hunger.

***

Wooden rosary beads, not with symbolic cross gracing their head,

But a beautiful bone carved flower adorning its’ start and finish.

Alpha and Omega,

First and Last,

Loving tribute to that Divine Essence,

Original Blessing that Nature so wonderfully displays,

Of  Which and into Which we all infuse.

Oh hallowed Osmosis, omniscient Photosynthesis!

***

The words Faith carved across the back of an angel figurine,

Strong and solid, steadfast and sure…

And your Faith, dear Dan was just so…

Pure and simple and uncomplicated,

And this treasure you scattered and shared with us all.

We continue our own journeys knowing that

We carry with us a generous sprinkling of your angel dust!

Prized and precious pilgrim’s sustenance,

Our soul’s restorative and refreshment.

***

A smooth, dark- grained, hand carved cross,

The olive wood uniquely distinct and unmistakable,

Brought back from the Holy Land by a fellow pilgrim,

With prayers of troubled times and conflicts engrained in its’ pores.

***

You loved and revered “the Nature”…

Telling us to look to Her for wise example and divine Design, manifested.

We picked blue Centaurea and Forget me nots to adorn your table,

Reminding us that the children loved to hear your stories and tales!

You loved writing them and reciting them and bringing them alive,

Supported by an assortment of quirkily dressed teddy bears,

Each with an important role to play and message to share.

The new age bear wearing dreadlocks a firm favourite!

Forget me nots were flowering more abundantly,

Gloriously and daintily speckling the borders,

When your body breathed its’ final breath

And your loving heart beat its’ last tender beat.

We will never forget you or the legacy that you leave behind,

Dan Gafvert, Rector of Christchurch, Lanark, 2007 – 2015.

You built interfaith bridges, pointing out the One-ness of all,

Our inter connectedness with all beings and with all the earth!

You were indeed a Sadhu, and in Sanskrit definition:

Well-disposed, well-wishing and lovingly bounteous.

Like the Springtime with its’ mysterious force,

Your presence brought forth a stirring, an awakening,

A flowering and a blossoming…

Where all was dormant before you came,

A spirit of hope and blessed assurance now permeates through all…

Rest in the deep peace and eternal bliss that has ever been yours,

In all ages, past, present and to come…

Dear Dan, you joined us on our path for a little while,

You walked alongside us and you walked a little ahead,

Shining a light so we might see a little easier,

Teaching us how we might open our eyes to our eternal birthright

And showing us how to hear the Word of God, in its’ many layers.

Your gifts, your life’s bounty will remain with us,

In all ways and in all the days of our lives.

The peace of the earth be with you, Dan,

The peace of the heavens, too.

R.I.P.

1951- 2015.

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Our dear Rector died on June 8th, and for the past 3 weeks I and friends in our Philosophy group and Church congregation have been in a kind of hazy, cloudy, malaise and despondency…initially preparing and partaking in funeral services, playing organ, keyboard, guitar and reading a beautiful Rumi poem which was just perfect for the occasion.  Dear WordPress friends, I will share this with you, shortly, as well as getting myself back into the rhythm of blogging and writing again. It will be good therapy for me and I hope to catch up ASAP with all your new posts and comments…all 1,500 or so emails !!!! Hhhhmmmm…cue for a blog methinks on suffocation by email! Must check my settings, laugh out loud!

My garden and those of others, has been my healing place and healing time and I have many pics to share with you, having been busy tending, planting out and just immersing myself in the abundant and sumptuous vigour of Nature at this time of glorious Midsummer. The weather here in Southern Scotland is set to improve and I am out care taking gardens when possible. My WordPress participation may seem somewhat scant just now…but no worries…I do NOT aim to do a runner, it has just been a time when I have needed to withdraw from the busy ness of this world, to reflect and contemplate on just how precious life with breath, heart beating, just being here,is. Every day is a new miracle, a new gift from God…to be lived to the full, embraced and enjoyed, as we likewise embrace and love and give compassion to all sentient beings around us.

Take good care my good friends and I hope to ease myself back into the swing of things, gently and gradually, breaking out of my cocoon bit by bit. I have many blogs sprouting and growing on, in my head! Peace and Blessings… : )

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Midsummer murmurations of Montana…

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A frenzy of Poppies!

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Rose cradling the back of the house,

with more blooms than ever this year, and aptly named…

Peace!

Mind Morph?

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See, hear, touch, taste, smell,

Mind swinging betwixt heaven and hell,

All that stimulates our varied senses,

A play performed across our lenses,

Quick to label, good, bad, indifferent,

Looking at the world with eyes belligerent,

Depositing life’s accoutrements into boxes,

We should stop and live and be as foxes,

Meeting the need of each new moment,

Gazing at life with sheer enjoyment.

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Put on the spectacles of a young child,

Let body, mind and soul become beguiled,

Viewing all as if for the very first time,

Witnessing that the world is indeed sublime.

Disengage brain, shut down and power off,

Hit delete, move to trash and do not scoff,

Stop and pause and finally reboot,

Original Blessing our inherent, ingrained root.

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And strolling betwixt picture postcard and bin,

Observe that judgemental voice within,

For beauty abounds in each situation,

And strong the frequency of wisdom’s vibration.

There are lessons to learn in all we confront,

Teachers hidden in circumstances, seemingly blunt,

And next time when reading graffiti on wall,

Embrace the hidden meaning and your brain reinstall!

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Graffiti discovered on wall whilst strolling down one of Edinburgh’s closes.

A study has shown that regular brisk walking 3 times a week increases the

size of the brain regions linked to planning and memory.

It can slow down the shrinking of the brain and the faltering mental skills

that old age so often brings.  Eureka!

Four Years Ago…

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Four years ago…

We made our Wedding vows.

We stood before the mighty Cuillins shrouded in mist and mystery,

Promising… ” to give each other all of our love,

To be always truthful and honest with each other,

To respect and in all things consider the other before all others,

And to be one in heart, mind and spirit, now and forever”.

The mountains were veiled from our view,

But we felt their presence and strength

And together with the encircling golden eagles,

Effortlessly and skilfully riding the wind currents,

We invited all of Creation to bear witness and testimony,

To our marriage vows,

Four years ago…

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Before family and friends, our hands were joined, our wrists bound

In an ancient ceremony of hand fasting…

Three braids intertwined…You, me and the Light of the World,

Entwining our lives together and bringing us to

Truth, Consciousness and Bliss,

Four years ago…

Hands still fastened and in a moment of silence,

We gazed and fell into the eternal pools of the others’ eyes…

Here indeed was Beauty and Eternity, unending and unconditional Love,

Conjoining of souls and spirits, hearts and minds,

Where the very rocks and flowers cried out in confirmation.

Four years ago…

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Rumi’s words, magical pearls of wisdom and enlightenment

Flowed beautifully and lovingly from your lips…

“Happy is the moment when we sit together,

With two forms, two faces, yet one soul,

You and I.

The flowers will bloom forever,

The birds will sing their eternal song,

The moment we enter the garden,

You and I.

The stars of heaven will come to watch us

And we will show them the light of the full moon,

You and I.

No more thoughts of “you” and “I”,

Just the bliss of union…

Joyous, alive, free of care,

You and I.

All the bright-winged birds of heaven

Will swoop down to drink of our sweet water…

The tears of our laughter,

You and I.

What a miracle of fate, us sitting here.

Even at the opposite ends of the earth

We would still be together,

You and I.

We have one form in this world,

Another in the next,

To us belongs an eternal heaven,

The endless delight of

You and I.”

Four years ago…

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With the placing of a celtic rose-gold wedding band on my finger,

You gave me a symbol of your unending love and faithfulness,

Reminder today of the vows and covenant we made on that day,

And that our heavenly Father, like a loving Mother,

Encircles all that is…

Above and below, to right and to left,

Behind and in front, now and forever…

Four years ago…

We asked the sun to bring us new energy by day,

The moon to softly restore us by night,

The rain to wash away our worries,

The breeze to blow new strength into our being,

And all the days of our lives to walk

Gently through the world and to know its’ beauty.

Four years ago…

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With prayers invoking the deep peace

Of running wave and quiet rocks,

Of endless sky and the mountains here,

And of the Son of Peace…

Our beautiful and magical ceremony ended.

And then…

We celebrated and feasted, drank and marked the occasion

To haunting strains of Scottish airs flowing from flute and fiddle,

Against backdrop of turbulent, swirling seas and gusty winds

In which floated the secretive islands of Eigg, Rum and Canna.

Atop the windy Ridge, in a house called Taigh Druim,

Overlooking the ancient village and harbour of Elgol,

Old Norse for Holy Hill, a sacred and blesséd place indeed,

We merrily whiled away the evening and night,

In the good company of family and friends,

Warm and safe, secure and serenely happy,

A perfect day indeed with a perfect ending…

BLISS.

Four years ago…

Today…

Happy is the moment when we sit together

Surrounded by the garden we are tending,

Together…

You and I.

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Wedding invitation, watercolour and ink.

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For my husband…With all my Love,

Four years ago…

1st June 2011,  Taigh Druim, Elgol, Isle of Skye, Scotland.