“Unfinished Fences”

Time passes. Life goes on and so do I. I walk most mornings when the weather permits, say my prayers, and thank God for the beauty of the Earth. The sunrises are miraculous… I pause, drink them in, and photograph many of them.

This week is Zachary’s birthday. He would be thirty-five. It’s been ten years since I celebrated with him, but the memories are clear as freshly cleaned glass yet blurred at the same time. That may sound illogical but it’s true for me.

One unusually crisp summer morning, I noticed a stand-alone section of wooden fence in the neighbor’s yard. Though sturdy looking, it felt incomplete or unfinished to me. The morning mist was at its end giving the fence an almost heavenly look. It seemed too short. Oddly, that fence reminded me of Zachary. His life was powerful but incomplete and way too short. As I studied that fence, I thanked God for the memories of Zachary and the blessing he had been during those twenty-five years.

In the cool air, I thought of a Christmas carol that Zachary introduced me to when he was my choir director. The carol was entitled, “In the Bleak Midwinter.” It’s a beautiful song with powerful words that have stayed with me. The words were written by English poet Christina Rossetti. She once said, “Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes, work never begun.”

Seeing that unfinished fence had been a blessing. Zachary’s work appeared to have just begun; and yet his life left a beautiful, sturdy, lasting picture in my heart, my mind and my soul… a heavenly image.

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