A member of the body of Christ in Waterbury and in Stowe died last week. A service of remembrance and celebration was held this afternoon at the Stowe Community Church where Bill had been worshiping for the past few years. The service was full of people from the many walks of Bill’s life, and as the Rev. Comiskey noted, a testament to his great spirit, or as friend David Hunting put it his “indomitable” spirit. Indeed Bill’s character was large and indomitable. That said, it must also be said that Bill was by nature sanguine and while he could and did (at least with me!) get upset (usually at my failure to convey properly the gospel!) he was not indomitable for his anger or temper. He was indomitable because he was cheerful and because he lived in the moment and by grace. Indeed, he proclaimed to his pastor only a month ago, that he had been healed. His death was not the desperate death of an already dead man, but one in love with life and the whole of it from birth to death and unafraid and at peace.
His daughter Lorelei read a poem by Robert Frost at his service. She noted before reading that Frost was her dad’s favorite poet, and that at a very early age she and he read Frost poetry together. She learned first that great poem about friendship, “The Pasture,” but she did not want to share that today as much as a poem entitled “A Prayer in the Spring.” It’s about the birds and the bees,” she said with a twinkle in her eyes that was startlingly Bill, “and it fits best today.
A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost
| Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,