Our friend Joe Spedding M.B.E.
A true friend was Joe with never a mis-spoken word between us.
We enjoyed each other’s company.
His wisdom and his approach to life encompassed all people and ideals.
He was a friend to all unless crossed; he then was capable of presenting a formidable verbal defence of his principles.
His religion was that of nature. You take from it and put back in equal quantities. He lived from the sea, his garden and the forest. He gave back in his husbandry of his garden, the keeping of the bird sanctuary and as a lookout of the sea.
He gave to all who wanted and took great joy in the giving, often saying what good is it if you can’t give it and provide some joy.
He taught all who would take the time to listen and practice his ways.
He was a gentle loving man with many friends.
The world and Lepe is a better place because of Joe and we miss him.
Judy & John Shelley, Ontario, Canada
by Rabindranath Tagore
O my love, what gift of mine
Shall I give you this dawn?
A morning song?
But morning does not last long –
The heat of the sun
Wilts it like a flower
And songs that tire
O friend, when you come to my gate
What is it you ask?
What shall I bring you?
A lamp from a secret corner of my silent house?
But will you want to take it with you
Down the crowded street?
The wind will blow it out.
Whatever gifts are in my power to give you,
Be they flowers,
Be they gems for your neck,
How can they please you
If in time they must surely wither,
All that my hands can place in yours
Will slip through your fingers
And fall forgotten to the dust
To turn into dust.
When you have leisure,
Wander idly through my garden in spring
And let an unknown, hidden flower’s scent startle you
Into sudden wondering –
Let that displaced moment
Be my gift.
Or if, as you peer your way down a shady avenue,
From the thick gathered tresses of evening
A single shivering fleck of sunset-light stops you,
Turns your daydreams to gold,
Let that light be an innocent
Truest treasure is fleeting;
It sparkles for a moment, then goes.
It does not tell its name; its tune
Stops us in our tracks, its dance disappears
At the toss of an anklet.
I know no way to it –
No hand, nor word can reach it.
Friend, whatever you take of it,
On your own,
Without asking, without knowing, let that
Anything I can give you is trifling –
Be it a flower, or a song.
from Lawrence Wilde