This wonderful piece reminded me of so many people who have made a positive difference to the world and have now left it behind on their soul journey.. It makes us know that we need to invest time in leaving behind some healthy legacy of comfort, knowledge, wisdom, healing, healthy relationships and unconditional love. We can all make our mark....make that difference.
Centennial 1916, 2016 A Sestina by Nancy E. Wright
Centennial 1916, 2016
Nineteen-sixteen grew extra time when the Leap Year was first presented,
Later Albert Einstein's theory of relativity was completed,
A taxi brought me to Pilot Butte to watch the setting sun,
Oblivious to Bend's centennial in this scene that I'd created.
Our friend and fellow singer Alice was born in January of that year,
And the next month Baltimore's first symphony concert took place,
Where taxi drivers, clerks and millionaires all took their place
In that space where Mozart, Beethoven, Saint-Saens and Delibes were presented.
The Battle of Verdun in France spilled blood in that same year,
While in a British hospital the first transfusion was completed.
Giving thanks for trees and that the National Park Service was created,
I think of Alice's favorite pink which now has edged the sun.
As crowds from work gaze at the cloud that now enfolds the sun,
I recall that
in that year the first forty-hour work week had its place.
Jackie Gleason, Dinah Shore, and Olivia de Havilland were created,
The first electric light switch was invented and presented,
Composer Gustav Holst's “The Planets” was completed,
And first US Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin was elected in that year.
Solzhenitsyn wrote of times near revolution in that year
(Though Russians of that time counted different settings of the sun,
Their switch from Julian to Gregorian as yet not completed).
I recall in the choir loft Alice smiling in her place,
And her velvet alto in the music we presented,
How in that year Monet's “Water Lilies” and BMW were created.
Walter Cronkite, Francois Mitterand, and Gregory Peck were all created.
Ottawa's Parliament buildings burned completely in that year.
The cloud becomes a flaming pillar, a solar exodus presented,
And still, like fiery memory is the silhouette of the sun.
I recall our last visit to Alice that cold January at her place.
Just about one year before her life on earth completed.
Now comes the night with abundant light as the sunset is completed,
I learned only the next morning
in that year Bend, Oregon was created.
I thought of pioneers on foot, follies, dreams to land presented,
Swelling speculators, beggars, risk-takers year by year,
And indigenous displaced until their only constant was the sun.
Of births and deaths, famed and unknown, through centuries presented.
All the sunsets completed they thought each evening had presented
Were instead in their own eyes and souls created, while rooted was the sun,
And still----from its burning place---can it even see each blazing year?
Nancy E. Wright