When the Heart Quietens



what we need is here.

And we pray,

not for new earth or heaven,

but to be

quiet in heart, and in eye, clear.

What we need is here.    Wendell Berry


          Over and over, I hear them. The softest of bells silvering heaven’s word into the last days to Christmas.

What you need is here

Right here

          The long drive to bring our children home from college. Tree-lined roads curling and curving, like hands passing us safely from point to point. We arrived safely at the beautiful college and hours later, back home once more. I put my hands together in grateful thanks to a God who kept us safe to live another day on this earth. It meant so much to be safe and with family when the earth had just reclaimed 33 other lives at the base of a green valley, this past Friday.

What you need is here

What matters most to us

Often lie closest to us

          Crowded into our daughter’s campus room, we waited for our son to return from a site visit, to return home together. As my husband lay down a bit for some much needed rest, the others huddled together, giggling and laughing softly.

          And I sat at my girl’s neat desk to work on my studies.

          On the desk, a small figurine of Our Lady kept gentle watch over us all in that tiny room, spotless, neat yet cosy, filled with the heart of a child careful to care for all she has been given. A child who had come into this world, accompanied for a while, who then was left to make her beautiful way, from those early years to the now.

          Waiting to gather my thoughts, I ran my gaze over all that lay before me. Tenderly pinned into the felt board were pictures of our past, of children we will always love, who’ve taught us so much about God and life. Notes from a young girl to herself, careful to prepare for her days, unwilling to squander a single moment. Neatly arranged on the small desk were the many little things that told of her daily life away from us, each in its carefully assigned place.

          At its centre, serenely positioned, was Our Lady, after whom our precious one is named, quietly assuring me that our child is held close to Her maternal heart.

          A deep, deep peace flooded through me, stretching my heart to its edges. It was a fullness not often discerned, yet gently tucked in now.

What you need is here, right here

          Later, after a reunion with our son, all of us together, packed tight into a car too small yet enough. Back through those tree-lined boughs. Back to the old home where we had welcomed each one of our children as God sent them to us, one by one. 

          Through them all, as the old day creases in and the new one turns out, tiny bells come on the breath of rain~blessed winds. My heart stirs towards each chime.

          Christmas might be in a couple of days’ time.

          But it’s also already here.

That which matters the most       

Falls unseen by the wayside of the careless, busied gaze

But perceived

when love slows to savour and to thank.

For when the heart is quiet,

the eye is indeed clear.





  1. I love the poems of Wendell Berry. Your words are full of peace today, and I find my own heart becoming quiet. I wish you a blessed Christmas, already here, with your children and husband around you. Nothing is much better than that. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joy, thanks for posting this Wendell Berry poem on your blog about a year back. I don’t think anything happens by chance – and neither was this. With the flurry of activity these past days, I was a bit overextended. Then, I found you old post (which I linked my post to) and there was God telling me, yes, I truly needed to step out of the circle for a bit to quiet down.
      So, thank you once more.
      And a very Joyous and Merry Christmas to you too!


  2. Caitlynnegrace this is a wonderful post. I’m feeling the joy and peace that comes when the whole family is gathered together. We will be together for Christmas eve and Christmas day. It is as you said a filling up with peace and an overflowing sense of gratitude. Merry Christmas to you and yours! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So happy that you’ll be having this sort of Christmas. In this increasingly trouble world of ours, the light of true Christmas must shine far. What better way to do it than to love and enjoy family on that day. Merry Christmas, to you and yours too, Val.


    1. Thank you, Ellen. Please know that you help me prepare for Christmas through your posts. I seem to be locked out of commenting on Blogger yet again so I can’t let you know what your posts mean to me💜
      Merry Christmas, Ellen.


      1. Haven’t been posting recently. Been battling the flu. Your words always bring warmth and hope to my heart. Merry Christmas and blessings for the new year.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, such a beautiful post! We do carry Christmas within our hearts; it is always there, waiting for us. Wishing you blessings with your beloveds. The seasons change in life, but not so much. When our hearts are full of love, the season does not really matter. We celebrate the love, and that is all.

    Liked by 1 person

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