The Rhythms of Life

Photo copyright Anne Underwood Enslow

Strawberry blossoms

My stepmother is dying. The hospice nurse called to say the end is near. As I water my garden at 6 am before running for the train, I am comforted by the signs of life all around—thick, lush greenery in the midst of the city. I have delicate rose buds, luscious strawberries, cheerful marigold blossoms, fragrant mint, tarragon, and basil, and thick clusters of golden cherry tomatoes. Life continues. And seeds carry the memory from one generation to the next.

I cannot help but recall the words of the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas:
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

-from the poem “And Death Shall Have No Dominion”

Strawberries--photo copyright Anne Underwood Enslow

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