A family reunion, a large gathering, this past week reminded me of a poem written a few years ago in memory of my mother and the many people  in the long line of our ancestry who contributed to the individuality of our being.


The ties that form a golden chain
With links to centuries gone
Were forged from patterns God ordained
And brought to being each alone.

The ties were laced with points of light
And one by one we radiate
Into the World a glowing bit
That comes and goes through Heaven’s gate.

So in the forms that God designed
And placed in Eden’s happy clime
We come like wind and go like fire
To loose the silver cord in time.

We hold most dear the ones who go
And closely clasp the ones who stay
The golden chain is made secure
As we like children kneel and pray.

              -Nancy Janes  2006

Holy Moments (2)

A visit to my brother out west turned into a uniquely memorable one a few years ago.

It was June and we sat on the patio in the mornings and the evenings. The coolness of the morning desert is special and the evening glow as twilight descends is marvelous.
A bird had built its nest on the ledge above one of the columns that supported the roof over the patio, and now the two parents were busy teaching their young to fly. There were four young ones. Three of them were learning what birds are supposed to learn, flapping their  little wings, leaving the nest and flying about the patio. The third however appeared to be smaller than its brothers or sisters.  It stayed in the nest and took no part in the lessons. Needless  to say, we watched from inside the house while the birds were doing their thing.
One evening as darkness closed in the smaller bird  decided to try its wings and dropped from the nest onto the patio floor. However, it couldn’t fly back up  into the nest.  We put a chair over it for safety’s sake before  we entered the house for the night.
Every time I woke during the night I prayed that the bird would be safe from the cat next door.
In the morning a strong wind was blowing and the young bird  was not on the porch.  But from deep in the nest I heard a chirrup and a head raised up. It had succeeded in getting back home during the night. All the rest of the family were absent. The mother bird appeared in an hour or so with food and then left. The father did not come back nor did the other three young ones.
Sometime that morning the young one ventured from the nest, sat on the fence and then fluttered away. It had found its wings. The mother bird returned a short time later, looked in the nest, sat down on it a few moments, and then left.
In the latter hours of the morning my sister-in-law and I were in the dining room and looked through the window at four little birds lined up on the top of the wooden lattice  used as a flowering vine support.
It seemed as if  they came to say goodbye to their home and, just maybe, to us.  After five minutes or so they flew away together and did not reappear again. Later in the  day I saw two young birds surfing on the crest of the strong wind. Up and down, over and over, they rode on the currents of the air  with joyous out spread wings.
The unfolding drama  of the birds during my week’s visit left me with a sense of reverence; a privilege granted in the realization of the holiness of life.