Some glad morning when this life is o’er, I’ll fly away.

by | May 6, 2024 | Faith, Nature | 6 comments |

For some reason, the “Fly Away Medley,” which our choir is rehearsing to sing this summer at our historic church location Trinity, is kicking my butt. The medley includes: “I’ll Fly Away,” “We’ll Understand It Better By and By,” “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder,” “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks,” and “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In.”

Finding that first pitch, an easy harmony. Watching the director for tempo changes. Noting the syncopated versus non-syncopated rhythms. Shifting from alto to second soprano where indicated. 

Focusing on the technicalities can distract me from the main message:

Some glad day, I’ll go home

I often find sources for posts right in front of me, as in this morning’s post from Richard Rohr: “In the metaphor of life as a journey, I think it’s finally about coming back home to where we started. As I approach death, I’m thinking about that a lot, because I think the best way to describe what’s coming next is not ‘I’m dying,’ but ‘I’m finally going home.’ I don’t know what it’s like yet, but in my older age I can really trust that it is home. I don’t know where that trust comes from or even what home is like, but I know I’m not going to someplace new. I’m going to all the places I’ve known deeply. They’re pointing me to the big deep, the Big Real. I do think homecoming is what it’s all about.”

I’ll fly away to a home on God’s celestial shore. We cannot understand all the ways that God would lead us to that blessed Promised Land. When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there. I am bound for the Promised Land. O, Lord I want to be in that number when the saints go marchin’ in.

But until I am called to my real home, I am called to be a good steward of this one.

Some things are wasted

“Everyone wastes something,” said my mother, a frugal New Englander, “food, clothing, something.” Clothes sit in closets year after year, she told us, stuff in attics, old suitcases, furniture, baby things, which someone could use, or the little nub at the end of grating fresh Parmesan, perfectly good cheese that Mother’s friend always threw away. “All you have to do is watch,” Mother said, and I wrote earlier this year

Though I try not to, I too waste things, especially opportunities for stewardship.

Stewarding our bodies is as much a part of the call to stewardship as stewarding the earth. We are, after all, made from the earth, and the success of our bodies to be fruitful and multiply is intrinsically connected with the success of the earth. As naturalist Wendell Berry wrote: “It is hardly surprising then that there should be some profound resemblances between our treatment of our bodies and the treatment of the earth.”

I want take care of my body, and in so doing, take care of the earth that’s been entrusted to me. And that includes my relationships with others.

Some things change

Like Richard Rohr, I’ve journeyed a long time – into my eighth decade—and have noted changes. Though I’m not as energetic or quick on my feet, I am spiritually more mature, less captivated by things I can’t change and more dedicated to the good things I can. I more keenly observe the change of seasons, the day-to-day buds to blossoms here at Vanaprastha.

My relationships with my children changed as they left home to follow their own paths. These days I try to avoid mentioning appearance, money, career choice, or advice. I pray God will show them that as they are changing, so am I. Most of all, I pray God will guide their loves, their integrity, and grant them fruitful lives for His glory.

As good stewards, we are to bud and bloom like the mountain laurel, bear fruit like the black cherries, and wither like the wild azaleas. Season after season. Until we go home.

Linkup with Five Minute Friday:


  1. Alicia D Baldwin Evans

    Wow, I’m astonished by the amount you were able to write in just 5 minutes! This was my first week with FMF, and I struggled to get out a meaningful statement in the time allotted. I’m sure I’ll improve with practice, but I’m just blown away by your piece. Great job!

    • Carole Duff

      Dear Alicia,

      Please do not hold yourself to this standard, because I clearly spend far more than 5 minutes on my post. I choose to participate in Five Minute Friday for the single word prompts, which I think about for a few minutes on Friday, research on Saturday, structure on Sunday, and write on Monday. I struggle with “ready writing” and time limits; prompts help me practice.

      Thank you for reading my “try.” I look forward to reading yours.


  2. Sarah Myers

    I have found Rohr’s reflections particularly insightful lately. Good to pause and reflect on his words together.

    • Carole Duff

      So good to hear from you – trust all is well!
      Yes, I’ve found myself slowing down while reading Rohr’s recent reflections and sharing them more often. Rohr has been a spiritual mentor; I’ve always considered him my elder in age, too. Now I realize he’s not much older than I am, and he’s showing me how to finish well.
      Sitting on your front porch and pondering with you. -C.D.

  3. Sandra K Stein

    Love this post, Carole.
    Thanks for sharing.
    P.S. “the best way to describe what’s coming next is not ‘I’m dying,’ but ‘I’m finally going home.’” is an encouraging reminder and one I look more and more forward to .

    • Carole Duff

      So glad you found my post encouraging!


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