The clouds have hung in the air, obscuring the sun, but occasionally, the wind seems to blow hard enough and long enough to whisk them away, allowing the sun to shine fiercely.
It matches my mood.
This morning, there will be a Burial Service and Celebration of the Life of my dear friend, Louise Emerson Brooks. This afternoon, there will be a Celebration of the life of another dear friend, Michael Harnois.
Louise fought a valiant battle against renal cancer. Michael fought a difficult, lifelong battle against depression. Both lost their battles. Both fought hard for that great wind that would blow away the dark clouds of despair and allow the fierce rays of hope to shine.
I'm struggling with the need to be at both services - one today at 11 AM in CA and the other at 4:30 PM in MA - and still be able to be here on Sunday to preach and preside.
My mind understands that both are physically impossible, but don't tell that to my heart.
Well, perhaps if I had been born with a silver spoon in my mouth, or were a Very Important Person, I could hire a private jet and do both.
Instead, I'm here on the deck of my wee cottage on the big waters of Rehoboth Bay, watching the wind blow the clouds away. The gulls are having a hard time flying in it and I find that I am strangely longing for the sound of their calls which can sometimes be annoying because they can be so incessant and insistent.
Funny how you can miss the very thing that you sometimes find annoying.
My heart is heavy but just when I think I can't bear it any longer, the wind picks up and the clouds disperse and the sun shines, warming my soul.
My heart is dancing between sadness and hope, tossed about by the wind of the Spirit.
It's good, in a way. It means that the lives of Louise and Michael were not in vain. If they were, I wouldn't hurt so much.
It means my life of faith is not in vain. If it were, I wouldn't long for the feel of the sun and the supplicant sound of the gulls.
I'm naming this time and this place I find myself "Wind Serenity".
In a time and place where nothing feels good, it feels strangely right. Electrically alive. Aware of the precious gift that life is. Grateful for a heart that can still dance, even if it is a jazz ensemble set to a music that sounds like a fugue.
The discordant note of grief is answered in the tonic response of hope.
And, in the winds that swirl the notes around my heart, I enter not into Leonard Cohen's "victory march" but rather, a "cold and broken Hallelujah".
That amazing song (listen to KD Lang's heartbreaking yet hopeful version here) ends with these remarkable words:
And even though it all went wrongI am finding myself this morning in that odd place of serenity, calling 'Hallelujah' over the water and into the wind.
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah