Acorns, owl feather and ribbon

photo at pixabay

I once spoke to my friend, an old squirrel,
about the Sacraments –
he got so excited
and ran into a hollow in his tree and came
back holding some acorns, an owl feather,
and a ribbon he had found.
And I just smiled and said, “Yes, dear,
you understand:
everything imparts
His grace.”

St Francis of Assisi
Translation by Daniel Ladinsky
Love Poems From God: Twelve Voices from the East and West

My beloved Dad died last Wednesday. Mum’s now in hospital having fallen and broken an arm a day later. Many miles away we’ve been seeing the inside of hospital too. And friends have just been bereaved … and … and … and … well, everyone in the world knows how it goes, for all of us, for some of our time. Grief. Pain. Fear. Distance.

So is Francis right? Does ‘everything’ (even if not quite literally) impart grace? I’ve had a few opportunities to find out over a scary weekend. And my answer’s a resounding ‘yes!’

Here’s a bit of a list: wonderful life-partner, children, grandchildren, siblings, cousins, parents, aunts and uncles, advisers, counselors, doctors, nurses, neighbours, weight-bearing friends around the world and ‘there’ and ‘here’. Friendship’s love, candles lit, and prayer communicated from afar.  ‘A Taste of Italy’ on TV, memories of ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ sung at high volume by my parents, sister, brother, cousins, children, and me. Thank you notes from baby grandchildren and a great-niece. Deep meditation’s peace.

I’m with you, Squirrel: acorns, an owl feather, and a ribbon [you] found. I just need to remember to run into the hollow. And there, and also everywhere, I find, and am found. Grace.

8 thoughts on “Acorns, owl feather and ribbon

  1. My cherished friend, as much as I want to hit ‘like’, the fact that you have lost someone so dear to you, that your mom is in pain (physically and emotionally), your friends around the world grieving…well, my heart hurts too much. Is there grace in the generous spirit of love, in the embrace of goodness and friendship in times of sorrow? Indeed. And so I too, send hugs of love and empathy to you and your family, hoping that you all will sense it across the vastness of time and space…xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dearest Simon, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. It seems that we are reaching that stage in life where such goodbyes are increasingly common, yet never any easier or less painful. Sending warmest wishes across the pond and holding you and your family ever so close in my heart….


  3. Simon & Jilly I am so sorry to have read the above. My thoughts and prayers are with you! I did send an email a few weeks ago, but that may have been when you were visiting your mum and dad…

    Much love as always Dot Grace Gosling!!


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