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THE TRUEST WORDS OF ALL

I will not forget you. You are in my waking thought, my sweetest memories,
my dearest dreams.
I will not forget you. You have touched my soul, opened my eyes,
changed my very experience of the universe.
I will not forget you. I see you in the flowers, the sunset, the sweep
of the horizon and all things that stretch to infinity.
I will not forget you. I have carved you on the palm of my hand. I
carry you with me forever.

Ellen Sue Stern

LET ME GO

When I come to the end of the road
and the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little, but not too long
and not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared.
Miss me, but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take
and each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Master plan,
a step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
Go to the friends we know
and bury your sorrow in doing good deeds.
Miss me, but let me go.

Author unknown

TO BE OF THE EARTH IS TO KNOW

To be of the earth is to know-
The restlessness of being a seed-
The darkness of being planted-
The struggle towards the light-
The pain of growth into the light-
The joy of bursting and bearing fruit-
The love of being food for someone-
The scattering of your seeds-
The decay of the seasons-
The mystery of death-
And the miracle of birth and rebirth.

John Soos, from Earth Prayers

PEACE

Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say you last words in silence.
I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light you on your way.

Tagore

I believe that life was meant to be embraced, not just endured.
Treasured, not just tolerated.
Savored ,not just survived.
Advertised, not just avoided.
Illuminated ,not just ignored,
and most of all, I believe that life was meant to be Celebrated!

Author unknown

LONELY HOUSE

No more cat tracks on the floor
Muddy scratches on the door;
Puffs of hair upon the stairs
Lacy fretwork on the chairs,
Indentations on my bed
Markings where she laid her head,
Smudges on the window pane
Showing where she watched in vain;
Haunts where she is wont to lay
Remind us that she is away.
My house is neater, that is true,
But, oh, so still and empty, too.

(excerpted from 'Pet Loss')

CHARLOTTES WEB

Wilbur often thought of Charlotte. A few strands of her old web still hung in the doorway. Every day Wilbur would stand and look at the torn, empty web, and a lump would come to his throat. No one had ever had such a friend..so affectionate, so loyal, and so skillful.

(White, 1952, pp. 172-173)

PRAYER

She whom we love
And lose
Is no longer
Where she was before.
She is now wherever we are.

(St. John Chrysostom)

THOUGHTS

How are we to build a new humanity? Reverence for life. Existence depends more on reverence for life than the law and the prophets.
Reverence for life comprises the whole ethic of love in its deepest and highest sense.
It is the source of constant renewal for the individual and for mankind.

(Albert Schweitzer-"Reverence for Life")

THOUGHTS

We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals…We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they moved finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.

(Henry Beston 'The outermost House')

SONG OF MYSELF

I think I could turn and live with the animals
     They are so placid and self-contained.
I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their conditions,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the
     Mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, not to his kind that lived thousands
     Thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

(Walt Whitman)

THOUGHT

The moral fiber of a nation can be judged by its treatment of animals.

(Mahatma Gandhi)

THE ONCE AGAIN PRINCE

We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would have it no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan…

(Irving Townsend)