This is the moment.
The only one we have.
And it speeds by so quickly it is gone before we can reach out and grasp it.
See? It is already gone : that moment when your eyes first spied that sunset over Corsica.
And that is why my half-Lakota mother murmured to me as we looked out over Lake Michigan on that frosty sunset of so long ago :
"Breathe each breath, little one. No two are the same.
Remember the colors that paint this sky. Remember me, little one. Remember, and neither the sunset nor I will ever leave you. Ever."
On this day in 1864, Emily Dickinson's "Blazing in Gold" was first published. Here is a snippet :
"Blazing in gold and quenching in purple,
Leaping like leopards to the sky,
Then at the feet of the old horizon
Laying her spotted face to die…."
And from Christina Georgina Rossetti comes this bit from "From Sunset To Star Rise" :
"I live alone, I look to die alone:
Yet sometimes, when a wind sighs through the sedge,
Ghosts of my buried years and friends come back,
My heart goes sighing after swallows flown
On sometime summer's unreturning track."
My mother once told me that I could do no better than to live the prayer of St. Francis. And I've always loved this version :
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