Take a walk when the rain is gone,
when the clouds hang uncertainly in the sky,
and the trees stand with bowed heads.
Soon the sun will return
and with a gentle hand
lift their faces up to him.
The earth breathes easily:
damp, challenged, refreshed,
and the evening sky speaks to me of heaven.
All around me is beauty born again and again.
When I am faced with my own frailty,
knowing this brings me some peace.
I shall have to die one day,
but the sky, the earth will thrill, will soothe other hearts.
I wish you shelter from the storm.
A warm mug of coffee, clasped in your palm.
Someone to love you, nestled
in the crook of your arm.
These are the things I wish for
you and everyman.
But may you also be content
to bear the brunt of a storm
or the dull dry weight of a windless day.
To take the bad for the good that may follow,
the hard that will with time be easy,
the cruel that might teach you to be kind.
May you take from life what you can.
Laughter and sunshine, thunderstorms and tears.
This poem was inspired about 25 years ago, by Daniel Day Lewis (yes, "Lincoln", and no, I don't actually know him personally). On my first and only and absolutely fabulous holiday to London, my friend Akila took me to the National Theatre to see Shakespeare's Hamlet. Lewis played the title role. He was brilliant. He BURNED. And then two days later, it appears, he burnt out: collapsing on stage and having to retire to recover. When I heard about this, I felt such pain, huge waves of it. I'm still not exactly sure why. And then I sat down and wrote this poem.
P.S. This is a reworking of the original (from Dec 13th, 1989!), that I did tonight.