This "Song" was written by the son of a friend of mine. It is written as both a Celebration of my friend's Grandson, and as a Prayer on his behalf. It is so gentle and loving that it nearly broke my heart when I first read it early in May '07, and it still brings tears to my eyes as I share it with you, here today.
The world is full of tragedy, illness & sorrow. Sometimes, all we have to rely on is God's promise, "Let the little children come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven."
So I ask you Dear Readers to remember this Song, when next you meet tragedy, illness & sorrow in yourself, or your family, or the families of your friends & neighbors. Remember the Power of Prayer, too. Praise His love, and ask His blessing for those who need His help and support.
Lee Shake '57
"A Song For Andrew"
The birds have been singing a different song lately.
They're still singing of love, of course. That's the
music they're made of. But they're also singing today
of compassion, understanding and hope. Their new song
is a call for their friend.
They know their friend is hurting. And they know he is
So they sing. Through their song, they carry the
spirit, warmth and wisdom of those who have passed, of
Pop-Pop and Grandpa, of Susan and Great Papa, of
Uncle Mike and Uncle George, of Douglas and Dixie.
Through their song, they carry the tears and cheers of
grandmothers, the prayers of congregations from Ohio
to Florida, and the positive intent of every spec in
the Universe. Through their song, they say "Keep your
head high." And they say "Fly."
The trees also know. And they too sing. They had been
growing rapidly, spreading their canopy - their very
arms - high over their friend and his partially
planted vegetable garden, offering comfort and
protection. They occasionally drop a leaf or small
branch as a reminder of their eternal strength,
support and melodic presence.
And the squirrels know. That's why one of them, just
the other day, came closer to the back door than ever
before, not to seek more pieces of bread but to find
his companion - to tell him that his lettuce had
finally come up from under the soil to see the sun.
The birds, trees and squirrels are talking not only to
him but to us. They remind us of gentleness, of
randomness, of flexibility, of Being. They remind us
to not question the reason for all this but to embrace
it - to understand that their friend, our son, is our
teacher. He's teaching us patience, surrender and,
above all, the will of what we know as God and what
Nature knows as its very self.
Nature understands. Nature understands the laws of the
Universe. Nature *lives* the laws of the Universe, and
nature dances to the mystery. Nature knows its friend
better than we do. Nature has been witnessing and
feeling the battle within - its friend's struggle with
the expectations and demands of society versus his
innate desire to simply show up for the dance.
Nature doesn't work 40 hours a week, though it never
stops producing. Nature doesn't have a bank account,
though its richness never stops unfolding. Nature
doesn't go to school or college, though it is
intelligent beyond our wildest imagination. Nature
respects its friend's determination to show us that he
can do anything that society expects of him. And
nature realizes that the battle within might be only
part of the problem.
Nature doesn't judge. Nature doesn't care whether the
problem is physical or mental or societal. Yet nature
can't help but wonder aloud: "Who's crazy here?" That
goes to the heart of why nature so deeply loves,
misses and needs this friend, this brother.
When a human being steps gently on the grass as to not
hurt it, when a human being nurtures the soil with the
tenderness of a mother to a child, when a human being
intently shares each breath with the ant and the flea
and the bee, the Universe explodes in celebration.
When the Universe sees and feels these things from a
human being, it delights in the promise of today and
the possibility of tomorrow.
So the birds and the trees and the squirrels continue
their song and their call, assuring us that they're
still there to give him a hug today and a slice of
their joy when he gets better tomorrow.
And the birds insist: Tomorrow's song will be even