Sacred Space

Sacred space
Sunrise to sunset
Precious hours
Waiting to be filled

Pleading with us-
Accept the love
That wraps us up
In great affection

Powerful love
Eclipsing both
Light of day and
Dark of night

Pleading with us-
Avoid judgmental
Questions leading
To a critical spirit

Avoid bitterness
That bleeds into
Treasured time
Set aside for rest

Sacred space
Sunrise to sunset
Precious hours
To love and be loved

Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof

Sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laiden with happiness,
And tears

Let Go

I wrote this poem yesterday. The same applies today, I’m afraid. Just different levels of worry. Different levels of seeking control. I keep telling myself this is not the time for opinions. And that not everyone agrees with me anyway-shock, I know. 😉

It is difficult, however, to remain calm and consistent when so many others are expressing opinions concerning what school should look like during this worldwide pandemic. Those opinions have the potential to affect me as a teacher, as a wife, as a mother.

So, I will not share any opinions today, only this thought. Continue striving to let go…

The Anxious Me

The anxious me
Keeps dropping by
I must admit
She is not
My favorite
Always grasping
For control of
Things that are
Out of her reach
Not logical
I realize
But here she is
In the flesh
Short visits
Are acceptable
Long enough to
Bring awareness
But extended stays
Become tiresome
Weighed down with
So much worry
She has been here
Most of the day
Time for her to go-
With compassion
Of course-so I can
Rest, focusing only
On what matters
Nothing else
Not giving in
Or giving up
Just releasing the
Concerns of today

Heart-Piercing

I follow a local news photojournalist, Mike Simons, on various social media platforms. He has a way of capturing events in our city and surrounding areas that show humanity. Photographs that react and respond to current happenings without sensationalism.

One such photo recently caught my attention. The subject was a local minister known for his consistent peaceful protests for civil rights. On this particular day, the minister encountered a man asking for water. The man appeared to be homeless.

The minister’s response, captured in this photo, pierced my heart. I cannot get it out of my mind. The man requesting water, sitting on the ground, was met with unconditional love. The minister not only gave him water, but he also stooped down, washed the man’s feet, and provided him with clean socks and shoes. https://www.facebook.com/mikesimonsphoto/photos/a.487995598044480/1651200578390637/?type=3&theater

I have not had any interaction so dramatic as this one. Maybe that is why my heart cannot let it go. But I did recently have an interaction with a homeless man. Telling the whole story at this time does not seem appropriate. I did, however, write a poem to express my thoughts. Maybe I will write more later…

He Has a Name

Sad, empty face
Eyes distrusting
And suspicious
Tired-lonely
Beaten down
Shoulders slumped
No home-no
Place to rest
How? Why?
What series of
Events lead him
To this place?
Someone’s dad?
Maybe
Someone’s son?
An undeniable fact
He likes BBQ
Sandwiches from QT
And Monster drinks-
That is all I know
Except that
He is a person
And just like me
He has a soul
Inside that shell
And just like me
He has a name-
His name is Sam

Old Friends

The rain stopped
Some drops lingered
In the rich soil
Beneath the tree-
Resting after the
Long journey
On the tip
Of a pine needle,
One drop called out
Or perhaps, up
To its dear friend,
Sunshine

It’s your turn!
I’m waiting!
Send your rays
My way-So that
We may have
A moment of fun
Can’t you see?
We belong together
Simply shine your
Light on me
And watch the branch
Begin to glisten

The sun obliged
Sending its rays
To pierce the clouds
And touch the Raindrop
The two old friends
Danced and played
While the branch
Glistened and smiled
Soon, each went their way
But neither said goodbye
Knowing they would
Meet again another day

The Way I Saw It

The past few mornings have been rainy. It’s difficult to wake up and get moving when the sky is so gray. But yesterday morning, though rain still fell, had a different appearance.

Looking outside, I noticed the sky looked strange. The view out the back door was still mostly gray, but with an odd hint of pink. Looking out the front window showed the sun trying to shine through the rain. My first thought-I bet there is a rainbow.

So, I walked outside, and sure enough, there it was, a beautiful rainbow, the full arch, from one corner of the sky to the next. Little drops of rain fell on me as I took in its beauty. And then, of course, I had to snap a few pictures.

My eyes saw each color of the rainbow. Clear and bright. But when I looked at my photo, something was wrong. Still beautiful, but the colors seemed muted. Not what my mind remembered from just a few moments earlier.

I immediately began to edit my photo. Don’t you love those filters? But this took a lot of adjustments. I played with light, contrast, shadow, etc. Finally, I had a picture that represented what I had witnessed.

Why was it so important for me to change the original picture?
Seeing that rainbow brought a moment of beauty and peace during difficult days. And by sharing my photo, I hoped to share that experience. Maybe someone else needed that same kind of moment.

Which photo best represents what I actually saw? In my mind, it is the second. But logically, I know it is probably something in between the two. Maybe the second one is more representative of how I felt. Either way, that’s the way I saw it. And I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere… 🙂

Temporary Gray

The earth still spins
As the rain falls
On this new day

Looking only at me
Leads to apprehension
For today’s troubles
A clouded perspective
Heavy and gray
Veiled like the sun

It is difficult to
See the potential
For good…for love

But looking upward first
And then outward
Taking my eyes off of me
Allows powerful light
To brighten this
Gloomiest of days

Assurance of hope
Shining even in
The temporary gray

Oh it’s so hard to see

When my eyes are on me

-Keith Green “Make My Life a Prayer to You”

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

Layers

I love the combination of a blue sky layered with clouds. Saturday was one of those days.

My husband and I took a short drive to a nearby peach orchard and store. Fresh peaches (and peach ice cream from the store) sounded like a perfect treat on a hot summer day. Yet, on the short thirty-minute drive, the sky had my full attention.

I noticed clouds moving in front of and behind one another. One cloud providing shade for the earth, but also for other clouds. Casting shadows in surprising places.

Of course, the sun plays a role in this phenomenon. It may be hidden from direct view, but its presence is undeniable. Somehow, its rays cause some clouds to glow. Allowing the creation of shadows.

Another key player-the wind. Its speed and direction cause the clouds to move-usually incrementally to our eyes. But if we intentionally watch, we can see the shifts.

Maybe more powerful, we can feel the shifts. A drastic change in heat felt as they pass over us. The relief, welcomed, even if temporary.

Now picture those clouds as people. Some gleaming, others providing shelter, and others being tossed about. Yet, all still human beings. All moving. Weaving in and out of life’s storms.

Some days I’m the one in need of shelter. And once I have gracefully accepted that provision of love, then I’m able to offer that same love. And so it goes-infinite circles of need, acceptance, compassion, love. As we help each other navigate this crazy world through beautiful layers.

Left Out

Ever-present
All-around
Drifting in and
Out of sight
Head down
Hands in pockets

Woman standing
On the corner
Little boy sitting
On the playground
Lonely, forgotten
Left out of life
Simply existing
Outside of time

There’s a choice
To be made
Keep moving
And ignore? Or
Stop and stand
In one place

Long enough
To see them
Long enough
To be seen
Long enough
To remember-
Only existing is
Not really living-

The next step?
Offer a smile
Walk toward them
Seeing me in them
Until they are
No longer left out

Imagine That

Fluffy white bear
Lying on its back
Feet up in the air
Happily playing
Oh, wait! Is that
A bear cub
Bouncing up
And down
On its furry feet?
Like a mom
With her child
Smiling, laughing
Not a care
In the world
Only one precious
Moment that can
Never be relived
That is how it goes
With pictures seen
In the clouds
If only the image
Could be recorded
A snapshot
Of the moment
Preserved for
All to see
But that would
Defeat the purpose
Of imagination
Where pictures last
Only as long as
The mind and
The wind allows

Both Sides, Now by Joni Mitchell

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Danger High Cliff

I snapped this picture on a recent weekend getaway with my husband, Gart. The lodge we visited was built on the edge of a cliff. Views of the valley below were breathtaking. Birds flew all around. It was a perfect spot for some quiet relaxation.

But that sign…I chuckled the first time I walked past. I even witnessed several people coming and going safely from the entrance to the trail. Still, I was hesitant.

After breakfast on our first morning, we ventured toward that sign. We walked the short distance down to the edge of the cliff. It was a narrow trail, but not scary, except for that “edge of the cliff” thing.

When we reached our stopping point, there were several big rocks-
perfect places to sit and rest. Some seats were closer to the edge than others. No surprise, I chose the first available seat. Gart, however, picked one just a few steps further.

The logical part of my brain knew he was in no real danger. But the anxiety, afraid of heights part of me-well, it struggled. We were both seated, taking pictures, enjoying the scenery. Both perfectly safe. Yet, my imagination had him slipping and falling off the edge.

Later in the day, I thought about that hike and the warning sign.
Life kind of feels that way right now. Like there is a danger sign around every corner. It is easy to become fearful and anxious.

At this moment, I am safe and healthy. My family is safe and healthy. But the news reports daily virus increases. There are increased warnings about travel, the importance of masks, and social distancing. Not to mention the impossible questions concerning a return to school.

Like the edge of that cliff, the potential for danger is real. And just like the warning sign at the trailhead, there are potentially life-saving signs offering help through the pandemic. But only if I read and follow the signs.