Yesterday we had a special service at Gloucester Cathedral for this year School Leavers. Aside from the fact that I can’t quite reconcile with the fact my first born has finished school… it was a wonderful service. Beautiful words, beautiful hymns… and I cried… managed to hold back the ugly crying… but I felt a huge/gratitude/respect love for him and his school/teachers/friends. These kids are the future… and let me tell you, the future doesn’t look too bad at all.
Anyway, the Dean said a lovely thing in his speech. He mentioned how the Cathedral (the school is attached to it) is now part of them, and always will be. And they are part of the Cathedral in the wider sense and he hopes they can be like its ‘living stones’ in the world; knowing where they belong to, but moving on and taking its strength with them.
I love the image and it reminded me of this Mary Oliver poem:
Watering the Stone by Mary Oliver
Every summer I gather a few stones from
the beach and keep them in a glass bowl.
Now and again I cover them with water,
and they drink. There’s no question about
this; I put tinfoil over the bowl, tightly,
yet the water disappears. This doesn’t
mean we ever have a conversation, or that
they have the kind of feelings we do, yet
it might mean something. Whatever the
stones are, they don’t lie in the water
and do nothing.
Some of my friends refuse to believe it
happens, even though they’ve seen it. But
a few others—I’ve seen them walking down
the beach holding a few stones, and they
look at them rather more closely now.
Once in a while, I swear, I’ve even heard
one or two of them saying “Hello.”
Which, I think, does no harm to anyone or
anything, does it?