Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Early Morning Hours

The early morning hours are the most difficult.  I usually sleep until about 3:30 or 4:00 am, then wake up and think about a million things.  My mind is racing, and ideas pop in and out of my head like bouncing bunnies.  I've learned that if I don't get up and write notes to myself, I don't remember what those ideas were.  I type them in an email to myself, so that they will be in my inbox waiting for me in the morning.

The ideas are usually good things, but sleeping next to my dear husband is so overwhelmingly bittersweet.  I don't want that to ever end, and sometimes there are no words to describe how knowing how blissful and perfect things have been, makes it so exceedingly sad.  I want to stay there next to him.  It's probably the worst and best part of the day for both of us.  Usually we're both awake by 5:00 am, and we just hold each other and enjoy the moment, often with tears in our eyes.

A few days ago, as we were laying there, the words of Dylan Thomas flashed through my mind:

"Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

I've always felt the power of those words, but not like I did in the early morning hours.  I can be positive much of the time, but there are dark hours...

When those dark hours come, I know that I have to write and raise those thoughts to a more positive place.

I've always loved poetry, and there are some poems that have always touched me.  After I thought of Dylan Thomas' words, my next thought was of Robert Herrick's poem, "To the Virgins, to make much of Time"   It begins with the line, "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may...."  Although what follows is not as upbeat, that line helped me rise from the dark shadows enough to dry my tears, and focus more on the positive.

In the years that David and I were apart, there was a poem that was constantly on my mind.  I could only remember one line, and I had to ask a reference librarian to help find the poem.  She leaped from her chair, and said, "This is what reference librarians dream about doing.  Most questions we get are so boring, and could be handled by anyone, but searching for a poem is so much fun."  The only line I could remember was "the best is yet to be."

It didn't take her long to discover that it was written by Robert Browning, and that the name of the poem was "Rabbi Ben Ezra."  I loved the first verse, the words, the rhythm, the deeper meaning.  I knew I was looking for that special someone, and that first verse made me feel that eventually I would find him.

"Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half;
trust God: see all, nor be afraid!"

When David and I found each other, I gave him an engraved key ring with the date we reconnected and the words, "In an instant, our lives were changed forever."  And on the reverse, "The best is yet to be..."   Although I thought I had bought a high quality piece, within a short time, the engraved oval, separated from the key ring.  Dave has carried the keys and the engraved part in his pocket every day, from the moment I gave it to him.  He never mentioned to me that it had separated, and it touches my heart that he carries always.

That poem seemed so positive and so prophetic when we reunited, and now when I read it, I can see how it can apply to the current situation.  There is comfort and sadness.

Sorrow mixed with gratitude for the moments that are filled with joy.  One moment at a time.

Thank you for travelling this road with me!


  1. Oh Ruth. The only possible response I can make is another poem.

    excerpt from Sandstone

    door of being, dawn and wake me,
    allow me to see the face of this day,
    allow me to see the face of this night,
    all communicates, all is transformed,
    arch of blood, bridge of the pulse,
    take me to the other side of this night,
    where I am you, we are us,
    the kingdom where pronouns are intertwined,

    door of being: open your being
    and wake, learn to be ....

    ~ Octavio Paz ~

  2. I'm just now catching up on the gleanings I've missed. I read the one about Gene when you first wrote it and there are parts of it that have left their imprint on my heart. Ruth, when you write, I can hear you standing before me speaking the words. How lovely! Prayers and blessings to you, dear lady!