We were born before the wind/Also younger than the sun/Ere the bonnie boat was won/As we sailed into the mystic

Hark, now hear the sailor cry/Smell the sea and feel the sky/Let your soul and spirit fly/Into the mystic

And when the fog horn blows/I will be coming home/And when the fog horn blows/I want to hear it/I don’t have to fear it

Van Morrison

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We said “good bye” to Michael yesterday.  His departure so quick – yet, befitting those who sailed the seas as they were made and beckoned.

Now, into the Mystic; and we stood together as he once did in that bonnie boat off a-sail – to learn of the mystery, to teach, to laugh, to befriend, to love and coax others to do the same.

Yes, a good life should end in a second.  Anything longer says less.

In that church because of him, we were one – drawn to know.  You see he called to us in that final breath to his last assembly – called to us just as he lived so we might live too.

I know this kind of man.  I play the game for the same stakes and always have – it was my family way, my DNA – it is a Celtic way.  Yes, smell the sea and feel the sky.*

I saw his effect in my family who cried at the truth of it all, and in my grandson whose sweetness and openness to life showed me Michael at the beginning – with gaping smile and eyes a-twinkle ready to receive all what comes our way.

I see little Jack is one of us, a sailor too – and that will never change.  Yes, in grandson Jack the claim again as to who we really are – born before the wind and so much younger than the sun.

Michael is a presence never lost.  The good ones always are.  Yes, it is our inheritance.

Yesterday hand reached out for hand, shoulder for shoulder – ’tis our oft-disguised nature revealed in loss and the truth it tells.  Yes, into the Mystic – the never-ending Mystic.

Yesterday, we sang and told stories, and danced, and laughed, and shared a toast and clinked many a glass, and the music played – and the fog horn blew and we did not fear it, for we knew the sailor and heard his cry.


*It is no mistake.  I was raised next to the Mystic River in a Celtic conclave.  My great grandfather, a Scottish sea captain.  Life has no coincidences.  The Author writes a good story and we are set a-sail in it.