Once a year they come together
To say farewell to summer
The farmers and the teachers
The musicians and the healers.
They pretend it’s a celebration
Like some funerals are said to be
But those of us on this side of 50, know
That life is less a gathering, and more a letting go.
Only moments like this still into perfection
A constellation of MacArthurs brightens into view
Jason in the field
Robin beside the boys
John under the tent…
First his wife, then his children,
and now the grandchildren and great-grandchildren center stage.
The sound of their voices stirs a longing inside for all things eternal
The nursing mother
The father and son embrace
The nail pounding contest
The tea tent
Megan’s fair song.
As Dan’s familiar voice addresses the crowd
I feel a pang inside
For the preciousness of all things yet to pass.
Like these lasts drops of summer
With the poet’s words echoing in the fading light…