Letter from the Publisher: Communion
For a number of decades, I have traveled up north to Otter Lake with a band of brothers for an extended weekend of bonding and revelry. In the past few years however, something changed because some from our fellowship passed away. When the first of our friends died, we devoted one evening of each annual visit to celebrate his life around a big campfire near the lake. Over the years, others followed him to their final rest. What follows is a poem I wrote to come to terms with their passing.
We toasted and reminisced about you, seeking to purify our memories, distilling your years down to the most essential elements, and perhaps coming to a greater appreciation of our own time on this planet.
Sitting under the stars in a wide circle around the fire, I thought of your ghosts joining us each year. The darkness and the light converged at one point for an embrace of unity in that tiny forgotten corner of the world.
Beneath the trees we found a place to experience your departures and become whole again. We were obliged to reveal ourselves anew, experiencing the grief of your loss and appreciating our lives more intensely. We recognized our own humanity and mortality and our ultimate end, not in a morbid sense but in a hopeful and peaceful way. We shared a common appreciation and respect for you who went before us, thus strengthening the bonds of we who remain.
Your spirits reside within us, softening our footsteps as we continue on our way.
Patrick J. Wood