This afternoon; a perfect autumn day for a Memorial and Interment of Ashes here at Throssel. I really only knew Ian via his comments left here on Jade. He died in October in Ireland and his wish was to be buried here at Throssel.
Rest now in your true home, in the deepest sense you never left, even though it’s nearly 40 years since you joined the community, briefly, as a postulant. You were highly thought of by both the lay and monastic communities. And Richard Branson apparently, but that’s another story.
The first thing I remember Rev. Master Jiyu saying to me was ‘Hello Friend’! It was an open and expansive greeting to a total stranger, as I was at the time. That first personal, and fleeting encounter left a deep impression. Rev. Alexander was such a one, a true friend to many who has touched countless lives. Rev. Berwyn has written a piece titled Rev. Master Alexander – learning from a friend. You can download it as a .pdf here:
There is a blog post with the date and details of Rev. Alexanders upcoming funeral on November 25th which will be live-streamed. Click here for the post.
Cliff sent me a link to a Guardian article that captured my imagination. These small forested islands dotted in the farmed landscape in Ethiopia, each one encircling a church, show what faith and dedication can achieve. Islands of hope.
South of the Sahara, and just north of the Great Rift Valley in landlocked Ethiopia, the Blue Nile flows from Lake Tana, the largest lake in the country. Radiating out from the sacred source is a scattering of forest islands, strewn across the dry highlands like a handful of emeralds. At the heart of each circle of forest, hunkered down under the ancient canopy and wrapped in lush vegetation, are saucer-shaped churches – otherworldly structures that almost seem to emit a life force. And in a sense they do.
….Over the past century, 90% of Ethiopia’s forests have been lost. In Amhara province, the only remaining native forests are those that surround the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church buildings. More:
As you may guess my last post, a poem was my reflection on visiting Rev. Alexander a few days before he died. There is a post on Throssel blog which speaks of Rev. Alexander. The post is open for comments and they are accumulating, you are welcome to add yours should you have been fortunate enough to have known him.
So many memories flood in when somebody one has known well over a number of years, dies. So it is for me with the Reverend Alexander. There is a photograph of him sitting in the sunshine here in the garden Throssel, he had been reading aloud from Bill Bryson’s book Notes from a Small Island. His head is thrown back, he is laughing so hard he is choking and gasping for air and I remember exclaiming ‘please don’t die now‘! I’ll publish that photograph when I can find it. In the mean time – happy memories.