This past Friday, I went to a memorial service for a woman named Rosemary Fletcher.  Because she was a dance professor, there was a beautiful performance of modern dance.  After many heartfelt words and shared memories, everyone got up and sang.  Some even shook their stuff.  Joy through tears — a wonderful emotion.  Guests were encouraged to leave with packets of wildflower seeds tied with sprigs of, what else?  Rosemary.  Is it inappropriate to say it was the best funeral I’ve ever attended?

I was touched by an excerpt of poetry read from Mary Oliver’s “The Ponds.”  It perfectly embodies how Rosemary lived her life.  It is how I hope to live mine and invite you to live yours.

Still, what I want in my life

is to be willing

to be dazzled —

to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even

to float a little

above this difficult world. 

I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.

I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing —

that the light is everything — that it is more than the sum

of each flawed blossom rising and fading.  And I do.

In loving memory, Rosemary Susan Fletcher 1950-2011