hope

Yearning

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          As day eats into day, and work becomes an endless biting of the spirit, there’s a world I wish I could escape to – the beloved Prince Edward Island of Anne of Green Gables. Not just for the beauty of this Eden-on-earth, but also for the living that kept souls leaning against God’s heart. For the communing of neighbours. For a return to the time when work was a labour of love built on charity, generosity and simplicity of heart.

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          The fictitious Anne lived the life I yearn for more and more each day. When I come home from work, scratched and worn from a job that seems increasingly removed from God and heaven, when I am too tired and crabby to surrender in love to the calls of family life, when a wretched yellow air stains the little bit of green we own, I think of this bejeweled land and the life it allowed, thousands of miles away, and of the simple folk who once lived it.

          And I long and long and long for it to be mine too.

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          Will my children ever be as safe as it was then, when children knew no fear of shadows and moonless nights and darkened hearts? Will they ever know the little joys of diligence nurtured in honesty and integrity? Will they ever be free to dream and play in innocent abandon?

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          Will living ever be generous enough to allow us time to wander down quiet roads to tryst with nature? More than anything, will time ever slow down, and find its rhythm in gentle passage unbeholden to man’s tainted aspirations to rush and crush?

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          No answers lie in repose in the creases of my spirit. In this humid stillness of fret, that beautiful island and its olden life are further away than ever. Tonight, gratitude and thanksgiving is a bough beyond my reach because I’ve set my heart on a life in a world beyond me.

          But what is hope if not to anchor my vigil by the door of steadfast faith, that someday, that old life of ethereal grace will be mine.

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When All Is Gone

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          When all is gone, not everything is lost, although it may seem that way. I continue to learn this truth in each one of my own journeys, from the swell of pain to the light of seeing. In many of my deepest struggles, it took me many, many years to find my treasure in the ash heap of loss. It was never hidden from me. But my hurt, my bitterness and lack of faith clouded my sight and blighted my seeking. I searched for hope and truth, but being guided by my sin~mottled will, I never saw my treasure.

          Even in the greatest loss, some things will remain, waiting for our spirits to recognize them. If we care to place our pain and weeps in the Holy Wounds of Christ, and persevere in searching among the ashes of brokenness, we will find that treasure that has withstood the lash of storms and the sear of flames. We will find that on which our eyes should remain.

          From yesterday, I am sensing the word Persevere being written on my heart. It comes and goes fleetingly, like a fairy’s feather light touch. But it comes and goes very often. So, I am going into the mountains to pray for those whose hearts risk a deadly hardening from one too many storms and flames. I hear the call to persevere for my brethren. To pray for those who cannot pray for themselves. To pray for those who continue to cling to the Cross despite the lash of dissenting winds.

          I hear the call to pray them all to their treasure in the midst of loss.

          Seek and ye shall find ~ Matthew 7:7. Christ’s promise is a promise never broken.

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Last of August

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Appenine Mountains, Italy

 

          This last day of August here is a joyous gathering of wind souls, in a camaraderie understood best by the busy cloud vessels sailing the skies, and the sage welcomes adorning the trees. All morning, the breezes have been in a delightful tumbling, giddily greeting one wind~friend after another. From the dawn hours, they have been linking arms and dancing the merriness of spirit, as the soft, white sky-pouches race to partake of this sacred joy.

          For anyone tired or afraid of what September holds, they need only to rest their gaze against the cloud-laced skies of this last of August, and feel the love caresses of brethren winds that see far beyond the hollows and ridges of today.

         No matter what the ninth of the year keeps hidden in its bosom, in the cusp between old Augusts and September mists, I realize the sunlit winds of the morning have brushed a question against my heart: am I willing to let go of the old, and make way for the new? Am I willing to be born again?

          I’m not sure what I am being called to, but with a sudden ease, I fall into seeking the Holy Spirit. I allow it into my heart, unhindered.

          I’m putting out into the deep.

THE WINDS HAVE STILLED

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          Time rushing past. Days filled to the brim. Lists, lists, lists. Tasks accomplished and unaccomplished. Much done, much to do. A whirlwind of activities. 

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          Black headlines. Bleakness. Fear. Loss before its time. Grief, streams of sorrow. Betrayals of loves we thought we knew. Raging winds, storms all around us. Dreams crushed, hopes dashed, trust decimated. 

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          And yet, deep inside, in a secret place hidden within, the winds have stilled. No curious breezes, no storm, no wind wild. The guardians of our soul know something we don’t – the season is ripe. Wind chimes of angels tinkle, bidding us to slow our stride and pause our rush, for the season is ripe.

         

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          Hold close the Rose Beads, ponder the Truth. Gather the children, spread the mantle of prayer. Love the erring, seek the lost, no soul left behind.

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           The winds have stilled. The angels know. The season is ripe.

You Do Not Walk Alone

 

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May you see God’s light on the path ahead
When the road you walk is dark.
May you always hear,
Even in your hour of sorrow,
The gentle singing of the lark.
When times are hard may hardness
Never turn your heart to stone,
May you always remember
when the shadows fall—
You do not walk alone.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Old Irish prayer

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EVE OF MY HEART

Eve of my heart. Loyal, even when I wasn’t. Patient in silent wait as I ran far to get away. A hand reached out to comfort and caress, to support and hold up. Never to hit. Never to pinch.

Listened to my litany of peeves and grouses every day of my life. Held me close in prayer. Kept my secrets. Never taunted. Never mocked. Humiliation was not her way. Neither was force or coercion. With her, no fear, betrayal or abuse.

Helped me build my marriage when I was bent on destroying it. Taught me how to cook, and to laugh when I couldn’t. Held me when the children didn’t come, but insinuations did. Patted and burped babies when they did come. Taught me that the best perfume was found in the folds of a baby’s fat neck, the softest pillow against a wee one’s fine down head.

Then, one day, she looked to me in silent question, and I didn’t know how to say no, because how do you refuse a mother who watched her son die a violent death just because He loved? All I know is what she took, she keeps safe. I gave up to my mother because all she asked of me was to love. And when the grief mists refused to subside, she sent me tangerine butterflies in the rain to teach me death has no power over us.

Many journeys through caverns and valleys where the sun was not welcome. On a great search and wanting to be alone, although I never was, for Mother stayed close.

Lessons of trust and yielding finally learnt. I’ve finally come home to my Mother.

 

 

OLD HOUSE AT ROAD’S END

food-007[1]There’s an old house at the road’s edge, where Memories live, staining the walls of their prison, unable to leave. And even if they can, they cannot stand up against Truth and Enlightenment. So, they stare out the sun and light outside, each golden shard only serving to heighten Memories’ misery.

Memories once reigned supreme in that old house. They controlled and dictated the lives of its occupants. They filtered out the truth. Memories were a power unto themselves in those days, old decades ago.

Memories stained and colored the walls and roofs of that old house. And stained with a vengeance, they did. In a life where everything ages and peels, no one sought to question why the Memories of that house never aged or got tired, but deepened and darkened in hue to the point of garishness and vulgarity and hypocrisy.

No one asked why it was so. No one pondered its authenticity.

But people we knew regularly paused to pay those Memories homage for they were blinded to the truth.

Then one day, the worshippers moved on, as worshippers are wont to do. No longer did they pause at the self-created Altar of Supreme Heroism.

Consequently, Memories grew lonely, chaffing and bleeding at the lack of homage it so needed to stay burning. Twenty years since we left that home to start anew in a town miles away, Twenty years, and I have nothing but loathing for that old address of my childhood. In my mind, in my memories, in my dreams, I’ve gone back to that old house, but never past the bit of road that leads to its gates, never to turn the key in the lock. Man holding an old-fashioned key

For I believe that some doors must always be locked. Let the Memories remain hidden from view; allow them the freedom to mark the walls of a home no one will ever return to.

But to come out and reach my new life, the Memories must not.

For within this old house live Memories, not of Life or Truth, but of death and sorrow that no one will ever understand because they are birthed in the shadows of emotional, spiritual and mental abuse. Such Memories must never be altered, trimmed or changed; they must remain as they are, lest they be given life again. They must stay locked up in that old house at the road’s edge, so they can never taint another life again.

For such Memories, their abode must eternally be in homes left behind and cared not for.

So, these days, living in freedom and light, if I chance upon old and crumbling houses, where once I used to lament the slow death, the decay into oblivion, I now choose to imagine and hope that, a dying house is instead a sign that someone has gone on to burn brighter and true and unfettered….. and safe…… and joyous………Elsewhere.

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Angels Came By

It has been an angel of a Christmas.

Angels in pictures, angels in a blog, angels in places I never would have expected. They’ve slowed me down, a gentle touch on my shoulder to tell me work is not all there is to life. They’ve come this Advent, come in the blue-gold breezes and in the melody of resting birds; in the hush of long grasses that grow on our hills. They’ve been the lamp that continues to glow long after lights in the home have been switched off. Angels were that spark of Advent joy within me, joy I’d thought I’d long since outgrown.

Angels made me do what I had never before done – decorate my kitchen! Always guided by a dull sense of practicality, I let go this year, if only a little. We got us three little boxes of little joy-bells, and strung them up in red ribbons on cabinet doors and door handles. 2 little gift tea cloths in festive reds and whites found their place in my kitchen too. And unseen angels kept our kitchen lighted all through.

Thirty people ate, slept and made merry in our little home amongst the quiet greens last Christmas. Thirty people, young and old, brought us an Angel warmth like never before. Its gentle glow banished into the shadows the hurts and pains of yesteryears, and gently nudged us to gratitude, thanksgiving and hope for the new year.

The First Bloom

I am deep in work when my daughter rushes in to tell me that the first zinnia of the year has finally bloomed. Oh, what an up and down we’ve had with zinnias this year. They are our family flowers, along with jasmines and my husband’s roses. Our zinnias have a mind of their own. They seldom bloom where we sow their seeds in the flower beds. In months past, they’ve taken to blooming just outside my double panel windows, by the clothes line, and the ultimate – right in the drain by the kitchen, watered by rain and everything that traverses our drains.

The zinnias are a poignant reminder of a time we took for granted a little. A time when we thought happiness and children born were here to stay and to see us off one day when we were old.

Today, when they bloom, and I watch them sway stiffly in the warm birdsong breezes, these colorful pretties remind me of a Life Book closed on earth here but now blooming across the sandbar. There is sadness. But there is hope too. Hope that comes from the life lost to us that now thrives in a world beyond us yet close by. The hope

that is now a Lamp to our feet.

We’ve sowed the zinnias in his resting place, amidst the wild grasses, jungle flowers and other sleeping souls. With the deluge of the past week, I hope the zinnias have birthed, so that from now on, purple pink orange yellow white magenta pretties will cuddle him and all the others all year through, till the end of time.