Saturday, June 10, 2006

summer grace


The guys have taken a week off working on the house as Yves’ mother died on Friday.

I realised, opening the door from our kitchen into the hayloft to talk to a son in mourning, that I was frightened. I was really frightened of death and of his grief. Then I approached the man whose mother had been in a coma and from whom the doctors had just withdrawn the life support, and he looked at peace.

“I spent the night by my mother’s bedside in prayer. It was a beautiful night” he said. We hugged simply - a sign merely of respect and of friendship – and then we separated. No words were necessary and there was no fear.

As always, Yves was full of grace and in that moment I knew that death of a loved one was not something I had to be frightened of. I could if I wanted to, but it could also be an opportunity to give someone the ultimate gift of letting them go gracefully. In a meditation upon death, one concentrates on not holding on to the idea of eternal life and thus, like a summer bloom, one is fully alive whilst ready to welcome the winds which will ravage, and the frosts which will make one wither and fall. Could every moment with a loved one be infused with such presence?

Could I, without waiting for death, let my loved ones go, gracefully, every day?

It is June in Provence and nature could not be more vibrant. Yet every day is a day of death. The blossom has tumbled in to the ground, the broom will last another week. Baby rabbits are mauled on the path and the fruit, having paraded triumphantly in, will fall silently back to the earth: cherries, apricots, peaches, vines figs and quinces, mushrooms….and then it will be winter once more.

We are taking morning cycle rides amongst the bursting cherry orchards and the wheatfields, watching the vines grow lush and bushy. We are loving, , path by path, and letting go of our corner of the Vaucluse. It is a daily practice.



Blogger Pat said...


Having spent the whole month of April in the Aude, and loving every moment of it, I'm reliving much of it thru your blog. I'm a fan of Julian's paintings, too, and just wish I'd learned of the blog and you two prior to going in April. Please accept my compliments on the work of both of you. When I get back in France, I'll try to contact you and make a short visit to your lovely village.

A fan,


10:45 PM  
Blogger mbcorso said...

Thank you, Ruth, for saying, "Yves mother died." And, then continuing to discuss death. I cring at the phrases "So and so passed or "left us" or something similar. We live; we die. Call it what it is! Most things on this earth have an end. Calling it by cutsie names doesn't change death. What a lovely tribute to Yves' mother - both from her son and you.


1:48 AM  
Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Oh yes.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Sam La Tricoteuse said...

We are all part of a bigger cycle.. There are many ways to go through this - yours is respectful and frank..

4:01 PM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

"we are loving, path by path..." a beautiful phrase that says much.

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there really any difference between life and death?
What is life really all about?
Or death? Are these concepts not merely utterances of the one and the same? Is it possible to go beyond these concepts? Leaving them behind as just "words" spoken out in our minds? Leaving them behind and seeing "through" them? Seeing a completely different kind of "reality"? Going through them melting them down... Melting down ourselves and reconnecting? Reconnecting with the wholeness of it all?
What is left of us after this process?

12:14 PM  

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