The daffodil sellers at St Vincent’s yesterday brought this poem to mind. I dedicate it to my sister, Kim. It is her favourite poem.
I have never wandered lonely as a cloud because she has always been beside me. Even when I didn’t want her to be! She used to wake me up in the middle of the night to sit outside the bathroom door because she “didn’t get scared when I was there.” That was when we lived in a rambling rectory in Concord Road, Strathfield. There was much to be afraid of back then, with ‘drunks’ sleeping on the front verandah and drug addicts knocking on the door for money. We were the minister’s family and it was our job to give people refuge.
There was often a break-in. We were so close to the station and on the main road. I remember the police being called time and again to wipe the windows with the solution before they took finger prints. “Just people looking for things to pawn for quick cash.” It wasn’t big to them but huge for us. Such an invasion. So much of my mother’s jewelry was stolen. So Kim and I would venture to the back porch loo together, even though the howling was just the wind in the old jacaranda, most of the time.
St Vincent’s feels remarkably like Concord Road. Fear whistles loudly to get us off track. It’s just the wind. I am not alone in this battle. I am not intimidated. I am not overwhelmed. Our lives are in the hands of my maker.
How lovely for me to see the daffodils and think of Kim amidst the things that tried to ruin my day. How incredible to know that the Cancer Council are doing so many things to make a difference for people who aren’t surrounded by family.
When Sam was admitted the old man in front of us had no next of kin, no emergency contact. I just wanted to cry. Sometimes you want to scoop up the whole world in your hands and love them. No one wonder God sent Jesus. I feel God’s aching heart for lost humanity pounding in my chest. He holds us in His hands so we can take delight in His rest. Enjoy your poem precious Kim but as for me I’ll enjoy the waves at sea.
I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch’d in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).