Some of you may know Parker Palmer, a Quaker writer, educator, and activist. His most well known work is probably Let your life speak: Listening for the voice of vocation, but he’s a quite prolific writer.
I’ve just discovered he writes a column of sorts at the On Being blog, which is associated with the Public Radio show On Being (which used to be called Speaking of Faith) with Krista Tippett. His current essay is called On the brink of everything. (Click on the title to go read the whole thing). It begins:
Last Friday, in this space, my friend and colleague Courtney Martin posted a column titled “Reuniting with Awe.” It painted an exquisite picture of how her sixteen-month-old Maya helps her see life’s wonders through a toddler’s eyes.
As I began reading that essay early Friday morning, I was mesmerized by its opening line — “My daughter is on the brink of everything” — because that’s where I am at age 76. I’m frequently awestruck as I stand on the brink of the rest of my life, including that part of life called death which I can sometimes see from where I stand.
Along the way he says:
What I know for sure is this: We come from mystery and we return to mystery. I arrived here with no bad memories of wherever I’d come from, so I have no good reason to fear the place to which I’ll return. And I know this, too: Standing closer to the reality of death awakens my awe at the gift of life.
It’s all worth a read as we move through the final week of Lent, preparing to enter Holy Week.