In preparation for Olivia’s Memorial service this week, I’ve been searching for the perfect words. For someone so in love with words, this is much more difficult than I anticipated. Pulling myself back from the ledge of wallowing every few minutes in the chorus of voices is becoming tiresome while I listen to the faint hum of David’s table saw as he works on her urn in his shop out back. It’s cold and rainy and well that seems just about right.
Here is what I found:
It is time for me to go, mother; I am going.
When in the paling darkness of the lonely dawn
you stretch out your arms for your baby in the bed,
I shall say, “Baby is not there!”–mother, I am going.
I shall become a delicate draught of air and caress you;
and I shall be ripples in the water when you bathe,
and kiss you and kiss you again.
In the gusty night when the rain patters on the leaves
you will hear my whisper in your bed,
and my laughter will flash with the lightning
through the open window into your room.
If you lie awake, thinking of your baby till late into the night,
I shall sing to you from the stars, “Sleep mother, sleep.”
On the straying moonbeams I shall steal over your bed,
and lie upon your bosom while you sleep.
I shall become a dream,
and through the little opening of your eyelids
I shall slip into the depths of your sleep;
and when you wake up and look round startled,
like a twinkling firefly I shall flit out into the darkness.
When, on the great festival of puja,
the neighbours’ children come and play about the house,
I shall melt into the music of the flute and throb in your heart all day.
Dear auntie will come with puja-presents and will ask,
“Where is our baby, sister?”
Mother, you will tell her softly,
“He is in the pupils of my eyes, he is in my body and in my soul.”
Thanks to Glow in the Woods, for words and song and thoughtful inspiration.