Exquisite Timing by Jeannine Cook

The joy of coincidences and exquisite timing - there has to be a law about such matters! - has visited me again.

I returned from a lightening trip to Spain for a week: my gracious, beautiful and utterly lucid mother of nearly 93 years old had died. Today, I was listening to a programme I often find most rewarding, Krista Tippett's "On Being", on American Public Media. She was interviewing Joanna Macy, a lady of considerable talents, experiences and wisdom, with particular emphasis on her translations of the poet, Rainer Maria Rilke.

I listened with fresh appreciation to the allusively beautiful poetry, some of which I had read many years ago. And then came the gift to me, entitled "The Great Secret of Death", in a letter to Countess Margot Sizzo-Noris-Crouty on January 23rd, 1924. Rilke wrote, (in Joanna Macy's and Anita Barrows' translation), "The great secret of death, and perhaps its deepest connection with us, is this: that, in taking from us a being we have loved and venerated, death does not wound us without, at the same time, lifting us toward a more perfect understanding of this being and of ourselves."

How appropriate a thought for me at this moment. What exquisite timing!