81. Our Gayla’s Free At Last
It’s dark out here, among my trees,
And storm clouds fill the sky.
The air is chill, the ground is wet,
The wind breathes mournful sighs.
And yet, I’ll sing a triumph song,
Our friend’s pains are all past.
She’s flown far from her earthly cage,
Our Gayla’s free at last.
So long I saw her trapped inside,
An aging, ailing, frame.
And though I sang for her each day,
She never knew my name.
For I was free, while she was caught,
Within a mortal shell.
With walls of glass between our lives,
She could not know me well.
For I am master of the air,
Although a little bird.
I dart and swoop around my world,
And tell all I have heard.
From chatty squirrel, to bashful fawn,
I spread the news each day.
Tonight I sing in praise of her,
Our friend now gone away.
In earlier years, when but a girl,
She might have come to play,
To feed me crumbs, and chase my tail,
And share each carefree day.
But little girls find weightier work,
Their youth so quickly past.
With their own children grown as well,
Their health can fade too fast.
No mortal tomb can hold her now,
The Heavens are her home.
With family, friends, who’ve gone before,
Throughout the skies she’ll roam.
Give thanks, and sing, soon comes the Spring,
This winter’s grief shall pass.
Through Christ our Lord, who kept His word,
Our Gayla’s free at last!
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Gayla was an elderly woman at a local nursing home whom I met as a home teacher. Outside every room there were bird houses and feeders, almost constantly occupied. We would often watch the sparrows who lived there while we chatted. Upon learning of her passing, one stormy January day, I imagined how one of those friendly sparrows might view her death. Fly high, dear friend, fly high.