A time to … by Annie Try


         At my Uncle Jack’s funeral, back in January, I read the same verses from Ecclesiastes that have recently been read by Nicola Sturgeon at a service in Scotland for our late Queen. Well, they were nearly the same.

When it was the right moment, I walked up slowly, prepared myself calmly and began reading. The rhythm of the familiar verses was lulling me into hosts of other connected thoughts as I anticipated my favourite verse which was yet to come. Unfortunately I pre-empted it, reading clearly into the microphone, ‘a time to weep and a time to dance.’  I didn’t even notice. Someone did.

‘Don’t worry,’ said my ex-headteacher sister after the service, ‘we all had the words in our programmes, so it doesn’t matter.’ This might have been comforting to a child in an assembly presentation, but I thought that made it worse - everyone would have noticed. But the relatives present probably smiled when my words prematurely sashayed smoothly into my lifelong hobby.

I can’t stop thinking about that phrase. For me ‘a time to dance’ could be anytime. Dance can express all the inner emotions. It even goes very well with ‘a time to die’.  It makes me think of the joy in heaven. I can imagine my 99 year old rather eccentric uncle kicking up his legs in a sort of hokey-pokey style while gathering all his unusual friends to join him in a conga. He’d be ageless, back to the dashingly handsome young man he was, maybe. His frail body restored.

What about Queen Elizabeth - not only living after death, in a joyful and free life in the presence of her Lord, but dancing? Maybe a slow waltz, reunited with her dear Prince Philip, or dancing with joy like King David or perhaps it’s her thoughts or words that would be dancing freely in a bubble of mirth. There will be a lifting of her spirits as she reflects the glory of the Lord, in the way light dances into shadows or makes patterns on the walls.

We don’t need to sing ‘God save the Queen’ anymore. She is free from responsibilities and restraints. She is finally home, where she will be forever with her wonderful Saviour.

Annie Try is the author of three novels about a struggling psychologist who has extraordinary clients. Having previously written for young adults, her next YA novel, The Dangerous Dance of Emma JJ, will be released in November 2022, published by Kevin Mayhew Publishers.

Post a Comment