Memorial flight over a pond - Lorca Smetana

I took four doves to the River Rock Pond on a gorgeous fall morning for a memorial for a woman who was a nurse, a mother and grandmother. The nursing graduation pictures of her in her cap reminded me of Nurse Cherry Ames, of the pride and patriotism that were part of becoming a wartime nurse. A circle of chairs faced out over the pond and beautiful flowers and scattered fall leaves. It was an Episcopal service and her four granddaughters were the soloists in her songs. During the final reading of the “Song of Simeon” at “Lord, you now have set your servant free,” each granddaughter hand-released a white dove out over the water. They flew low all the way across the smooth lake and veered up off the far bank to make their way home. It felt good. I gave each of the girls and their mother a white flight feather molted by the birds this week. This was a brave and lovely family, able to be present through a great deal of suffering.

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