My magnolias are blooming in full! They started a couple of weeks ago during a very cold snap, and I told them I hoped they wouldn’t be disappointed. They carried on, however, and in what seemed to be only hours, they burst open to spring. The air is full of their fragrance, and fallen blossoms carpet the new grass coming up. I guess it was time after all. Every year I marvel at how quickly flowers and trees and lawns spring to life. It’s a real spirit-raiser.
It came at the right time for me this year, because a friend’s son died unexpectedly, and I, as well I’m sure she, needed this season of renewal and rebirth to help her get through it. It made me think about the juxtaposition of sadness and joy, beauty and ugliness, life and death. The cycle of life includes death; we just hope we have plenty of time to do what we want to do with the life part, but sometimes we don’t. That’s why I stood outside in the sun for a brief time on the first day of spring while waiting to go in to the funeral. Then, when I got home, I wrote this poem:
It slipped in quietly this year,
but I spent the afternoon
attending a funeral
for a young man,
the son of a friend,
who died suddenly and unexpectedly.
As I rest in the stream of sunlight
pouring from the sky,
a man is being lowered
into perpetual darkness.
He was a son, a father,
and a friend to many,
a heartbreaking loss
on such a glorious day
of renewal and rebirth,
but continuing the natural cycle of life,
through grief and joy,
an odd pairing
but existing together nevertheless.
Standing in the warm clean air
a breeze brushing my face,
I see beyond the edges of time and place,
see myself fading into
whatever is out there,
then opening my arms to Spring.
© 2021 Dorothy A Joslyn
Write about a time when joy and grief came together for you.
Write a spring poem that expresses your feelings about its arrival.
Think about your life up to now, and write about your intentions for moving forward, knowing of course that there will be an ending.
What a profound poem, Dottie. You’ve given me much to think about . . . as always.
Thanks, Sarah, for your response. I’m glad it spoke to you!