Compassion

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Memories and messages

 

I remember that day

on the beach at Smirisary

three generations of women

skinny dipping jumping waves

cresting clear blue waters

and looking out to  Eilean Coille.

 

Another day

another journey

hills grey and laden

with mist.

 

The swallows flight

in the lane

ahead of me

brought you

and our friendship

into my thoughts

and the memory

of our last talk

 

You were eighty

and the cancer

that had bitten

hard into you

had won its battle

I remember

you’d just disclosed

that you were abused

as a child

and you knew

I was speaking

at a meeting

with those caring

for the young

the damaged

and abandoned.

So I asked

what message

you’d want me to give.

 

“Work out of your

heart with love

not from your head alone”

you said.

I asked whether

we are able

to teach

how to show

compassion

“You do it all the time.

Apart from to yourself.

Be kind to you.

Don’t give it all away.

Keep some behind”

 

I’m constantly

surprised

by the kindness

of the body

to release

small memories

in ways

that ease the pain

of loss and the hardness

of leavings.

 

Your message

remains.

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