Echoes of Eternity
The Story Behind the Song
Echoes of Eternity is a song from Kathryn Overall’s debut album Not All the Leaves Are Falling
I wrote Echoes of Eternity on the day I found out my Gran had been diagnosed with throat cancer. It didn’t look good. She was 84 and had lived a good life, but these are cold comforts when facing the shock of having to say good-bye.
Gran has been part of the fabric of my life from the time I was born, living just ten minutes throughout my entire childhood years. I was the eldest daughter of her eldest daughter and we had a special connection from the beginning.
On the day we heard the news, I took my guitar out to our front deck, sat in the late morning sun and began to write this song. It was my way of processing the thought of having to let her go. It felt surreal. She was still full of life and there were so many things she would hate to miss out on. I didn’t want her to suffer.
As it turned out, my Gran beat throat cancer. She’s a plucky thing with a determined spirit and she went through the valley of chemo and came out the other side more grateful for life and family than ever.
She turns 91 in September. So this song that was written especially for her remains a song sung on this side of loss, a prepared room of farewell, a pre-ritual, a statement of faith while we both still live that ‘the hope that’s holding you is holding me’.
The Sea | The Sky
The chorus came to me several years ago, at a time when I had been falling in love with the sky. The sky and seas are pictures of the eternal to me, and remind me of the spaciousness of God in whose transcendent immanence I find hope and rest.
When I look up at the sky or over the sea
I will think of you
Your body renewed, your mind at ease
The sky is spacious and beautiful in a way that calls out our hope and daunting in its vastness in a way that calls out our deep trust. An ordinary sky and sea-scape speaks to me of the vast, unknowable dimensions of eternity and Mystery that we can intuit but not fully grasp.
Some things are too big for me to understand, but my Gran and I share a simple faith in Christ – a belief that the Origin of this vastness is within reach, is personal and is a Love that can be trusted when we make our last surrender.
I find my peace in the fact that the Hope she surrenders herself to in death, is the Hope I surrender myself to in life. In life and in death we remain connected by our mutual hope in the God of eternity.
I hear echoes of eternity
And the hope that’s holding you, is holding me.