Monday, 13 April 2009

Patricia Mayne

We held a small wake today at The Orangery for Patricia Mayne, a dear friend, who died of motor neurone disease in February. We read the piece below and drank to her spirit in pink champagne.

Her memorial service was held at Aldbourne, Wilts on 15th May at which, completely coincidentally, the same piece was read by her daughter, Alie Plumstead.

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length,
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come
to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says,
"There, she is gone"

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast, hull
and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of
living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says,
"There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout,
"Here she comes!"

And that is dying...

Gone From My Sight by Henry Van Dyke