I was at a gathering of men this past weekend. We began in 1998 when Miriam was dying, and they gathered to support me. Then it became a support for us all and we met monthly. Several of us have moved away from Calgary, but the group has met monthly all those years. And every year we all get together for a weekend of open-hearted sharing of our lives and what God is doing in us. What an amazing gift it has been. I am grateful. Since we are all getting into that “older” stage, I thought I would include these lines from the end of the second of the Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot.
Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
There is a time for the evening under starlight,
A time for the evening under lamplight
(The evening with the photograph album).
Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.
Old men ought to be explorers
Here and there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.
T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets.