Day 13: Presence

Yesterday was my friend’s memorial that I mentioned preparing music for, earlier.
It was held in Oakland’s Botanical gardens, where she came daily to relax and enjoy. It seemed every plant was in bloom!

oakland gardens

And so this was our gathering place.  Under trees, myself and another musician, each played a few songs.  As we played, people drew close and it became silent. It made sense to change some of the lyrics of at least one song, to reflect what was going on around us: a sunny cool day…butterflies…friendship.

Here in this garden,
this gorgeous sunny day,
sprouting and blooming, we trace
our connections in stories woven
through places, smiles, travels,
faces-       over decades

piecing together, for each other
just how many layers of fullness
and beauty,      Life is.   We listen, completely
marvel at the monarch and
swallow tails, born just this morning
soon to be released here, where you sat
filling the world to the brim
with your Presence.

I learned something about the purpose of music at a memorial service, by what people came up to say afterwards. One said: “It wasn’t always easy to talk. With the music, I didn’t need to say anything. I could just relax and enjoy.” And another “Music filled any uncomfortable spaces.”   For me, it was an offering. I will miss her…

The Botanical Garden is planning several new park additions in honor of our friend!  Including a tree frog sanctuary (raccoon proof), a sculpture that attracts butterflies, and the renovation of a shaded, flowing pool.  It was good to rediscover these gardens, so close to home, to meet neighbors I didn’t know were connected to her.  It was all just simply beautiful, full, and intensely positive.


Author: tara linda

musician, poet, art and jewelry-maker

3 thoughts on “Day 13: Presence”

  1. Trying to press ‘like’ for this but the button isnt loading, so if it doesn’t after I post this, please take this as a like…really warm and engaging writing throughout and especially liked th poem!! 🙂

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