|My guardian angel.|
I'm clearer than ever that it's not only the living who are looking out for me. As I mentioned before, when I awoke to a seizure last week, I'd been dreaming that my recently departed friend and mentor, Gabriele Rico, had been talking to me. She was telling me that the veil between life and death is thinner than we think. This was a comforting conversation. She was saying there's nothing to be afraid of. She was saying that moving from one state to the next is like lifting a gauze curtain. She was saying if we relax and allow it, we can experience more of the mystery than we might imagine.
These reassuring, beautiful sentiments resonated with me even as my body was seizing, even as part of me was thinking I was certainly dying.
|A hummingbird, one of Gabriele's favorite creatures, at her bird feeder.|
Gabriele's family and friends are assembled in her magnificent house in the Cupertino hills, a place imbued with her loving energy and creative spirit. I'm talking to one of her daughters about my brain tumor, when a women standing right next to us says, "Did you say you have a meningioma? I had one of those!"
|With Eddi Lynn, wearing scarves made by Gabriele.|
Turns out her name is Eddi Lynn. She's also a longtime friend of Gabriele's and a writer. Her tumor was diagnosed when she was 50, just like me. She had the tumor removed five years ago and quickly was able to get back to her normal life.
|Watching Gabriele's ashes being buried|
from the deck overlooking her beloved canyon.
So there I am, reeling at this synchronicity, when Gabriele's husband, Rich, pulls me aside. He asks me if, as part of the evening's ceremony, I'd read a poem. I say I'd be honored, and here's what he hands me:
Let Evening Come (by Jane Kenyon)
Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.
Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.
Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.
Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.
To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.
Let it come, as it will, and don't
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.
This poem is like another version of Gabriele's message in the dream. When the night comes, the stars appear. Allow the rhythms of life to unfold. Do not be afraid.
She told me this in my dream, right before the seizure. She told it to me in her home, on the day of the scattering of her ashes, through her longtime friend. She told me through a poem. If those aren't the actions of a guardian angel, I don't know what are.