Sitting in front of a beautiful painting, or adoring a sunset or holding a new born babe as they fall asleep in your arms – all wonderful moments that urge you to linger. Not wanting to leave is a fundamental ingredient to lingering, a savouring of the moment. Procrastination or putting off the inevitable to take the next step in a journey or a decision may show reluctance to face the inevitable, but maybe lingering is more like being a sponge to squeeze everything out of the moment that is possible.
In a conversation this past week, a friend told me her mother was lingering, in no hurry to leave this life and her palliative carers. Palliative care is all about relieving but not curing and so lingering is similar; knowing that there is an inevitable next step after relishing and drinking in the moment that you don’t want to leave.
I have been noticing when I linger and when I leave prematurely, and the differences between the two. Leaving early and staying later maybe two sides of the one coin – finding the right balance is a Goldilocks ‘just right’ experience. When we linger it is often others who notice we aren’t leaving, and a mid-wife appears to birth a next step or guide us on our way out of a comfort zone we may not want to leave (or ushers us gently). I have often held the view that midwives and palliative care nurses have a lot in common but my own preference is to be more like a midwife coaching new ideas into life, than a palliative care nurse who might be smoothing the pillow to make death easier. (Certainly in my relationship with the church Hildegard, I have made it clear that I am in the midwifery business, actively and consciously paying attention to foster new models and new life and not to hold a dying institution’s hand as it decays.)
As the calendar year comes to an end, I am savouring all the gifts received during the year and the invitations I received. I have been faithful to writing to you and poetry. I have had many wonderful opportunities to extend my reach on line (curating a couple of #rocur accounts, initiating and advancing social media for community based organisations in particular), presenting a TEDx talk, having a little essay published on my favourite website, building new friendships and watching those I love take big leaps in their personal and professional lives, spending hours holding hands on a red couch with my one true love, watching the honey eaters on the grevilleas in the garden as well a precious trip to Italy and Ireland … and the list goes on … I am blessed and grateful for the gifts of 2013 and I will linger in it a little longer before 2014 begins.
There are many ‘just right’ moments I could linger on this year and here is one that brought a little of heaven to earth when love was in the air!
Transit of Venus
Forecasted by astronomers and prophets
(those faithful custodians of the future).
Arranged by the UniVerse,
Guided by planets and stars,
The promise of arrival is fulfilled.
Arrayed in crystals and petals,
Casting a shadow long and slender
Onto the gasping assembly.
Her beauty takes their breath away.
She moves us
Through all the elements;
The leaves shake in counterpoint timing.
Warbling magpies gather in communion.
All of creation consents.
The salted beads slide down our faces.
The candle, encased by ancestral love
Lovingly reminding us,
Angels too witness this celestial sight.
She glides into place.
The jigsaw now complete.
A new day dawns.
And Venus transits into her next orbit.
(c) Moira Deslandes, November 2013