It is peaceful this morning on Halcyon Pond. I am alone. Completely alone. I sit in the garden listening to the bird calls; the chirping and lilting of the song birds riding over the continuo of the plaintive call of the mourning doves. I am reminded of the days when I thought they were called morning doves because they sang to each other at daybreak. And that Electra looked especially lovely in the early sun’s rays in the play “Mourning Becomes Electra”. It was only later in life that I learned they were both “mourning”, and sadness infused my view.
I sit in the garden, trying to see the beauty, trying to force my eye from the glorious peony to the graceful polygonatum, now fully unfurled, draped with blossoms. But instead my eye lingers on the devastated hostas. And I worry over the yet uneaten day lilies and eucomis and stokesia, knowing how vulnerable they are and how little I can do to protect them.
Last evening as I sat enjoying the tranquility of the day’s end, feeling the gentle breeze wafting in the window, I heard munching. Jumping up, I saw through the window the Madonna and child wandering through the hosta bed, snacking on the few leaves they had missed before. The faun that had nearly drowned, now healthy, meandered joyfully by its mother’s side. I was reminded of how foolhardy it is to romanticize nature and anthropomorphize its creatures. The faun may have gone back and told stories of the good fairy in the woods or of the fearsome waters in which it almost drowned. But that did not keep it from returning itself to feast. I am chastened. [Equivocal]
I would do no differently, though, if I found the faun drowning today. I would still save it. But maybe it would be with a wiser heart, one that hears the mournful lilt of the dove’s call. And one that knows that all of us, including Electra, are part of this circle of life and will mourn. And be mourned.
But then I wonder if “mourning” and “morning” are not so far apart. To wonder if when mourning, are we also at the point of awakening? Is it in death that we understand life; in darkness, the light? Can we mourn, confident that there will be a morning after? Can we be fully in the dark moments in life, knowing that light will dawn and illuminate our souls again?