Songs of Nature

Help support explorefaith. Purchase a copy of Rebecca Webb Wilson's Songs of Nature from


You also may be interested in...

- A Prayer for Learning to Be Alone

- Loneliness



Day 21

Written By Eyleen Farmer

Image courtesy of Rebecca Webb Wilson, Hawkeye Nature Photography


As the deer longs for the water-brooks, so my soul longs for you, O God! —Psalm 43:1

Image courtesy of Rebecca Webb Wilson; copyright 2010A woman I had never seen before and will probably never see again walked across the piazza and opened a small suitcase. She arranged her sound equipment and set up a modest display of CDs. Then she looked around the piazza, straightened her dress, and began to sing. Gradually a small crowd gathered. She was singing, in her high, clear soprano, arias from some of the world’s great operas.

My group was being hurried into the umpteenth church we were visiting. But even in the church I could hear that voice, more faintly now, underneath all the other sounds. I was trying to follow our guide’s explanation of the art we had come to see, but then I heard the familiar strains of “Un bel di Vedremo” from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.  “One Fine Day,” an aria I had heard my mother sing many times. Unexpectedly, tears started tumbling down my face, and I stumbled out of the church, back to the piazza.

I was experiencing the most intense longing for my mother I have had in the nearly eight years since her death. How I wished for her in that moment! She would have loved to be there with me, and I wanted her there. I wanted to tell her how much I appreciated her voice, and how much I respected her for finding ways to use her great gift even though she never had the opportunities warranted by her natural talent. I wanted to tell her how much I loved her.

People who are grieving want to know, “When will I be ‘over this?’” The answer is “never.” The acute pain of the first weeks and months will fade and life will settle into some kind of normal. But it is likely to be the case that, for the rest of our lives, there will be times when the feelings of loss and sadness will flood our senses again. We may be overcome with yearning for our loved one. It may be only a fleeting feeling, here, then gone, or it may last the better part of a day. When this happens, take the time to acknowledge all the love you still carry within you.

O God, how my heart longs for those I have loved! How my heart longs for you. Amen.