On Retiring as Associate Priest in an Anglican Parish
Time now to fold and put away
(well within reach on a central shelf)
words I’ve been privileged to say,
robes that both stirred and covered self.
Tears fall in soft autumnal grief;
letting them flow releases me.
Tightness unwinds and brings relief;
eyes look around and start to see.
There on those shelves are garments tossed,
jumbled aside in a pressured hour,
colours once loved and crafts I’ve lost:
some I discard while some might flower.
Clasped in that role, I shrank and grew;
cramped and controlled, but yet revealed.
I moved beyond the me I knew,
though there are parts of me unhealed.
Now though I keenly feel the loss,
something with wings is freed outside.
Stone rolled aside, but still the cross
questions humanity denied.
Christ is still striding on ahead;
I face a road half-known and strange.
Other hands raise the wine and bread;
time to receive, let spirit range.
Barbara Messner 9/03/2022
2 thoughts on “On Retiring as Associate Priest in an Anglican parish”
Beautiful. I was wondering when this was going to happen. May there be so much joy in your next time. The Third Act environmentalist Bill McKibben calls it, gathering people over 60 to become activists. May your third act be joyous.
Thanks Maren. Not ready for activism yet – pottering about is about my level at present. As I start to unwind, I begin to realize how tired and stretched i was. However, I do sense potential for something further down the track!