What we remember from
childhood we remember forever —
permanent images, stamped,
inked, imprinted, eternally seen.
from Cynthia Ozick
Oh, the golden age of the barefoot time,
While life was a fairy tale sung in rhyme,
When phantoms grim of a future day
Were hid in the mists of the far away…
Off for a swim on an afternoon,—
The moments—why would they fly so soon!
The rosy skies of our barefoot days.
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Adelbert Farrington Caldwell
On the far left in the collage above are my great uncle and I on the beach in Southern California. He was one of my most favorite people on the planet, and before my Daddy came home from the War, he frequently took me the half a block down to the shores of the beautiful blue Pacific. Even after daddy got home and until we moved to Texas, the beach remained a cherished part of my daily reality. Sadly the photo of uncle and me is so faded now that you can’t even make out the water anymore. So I added the other pictures in the collage that I found on Pinterest to show what my earliest memories of the beach look like. Although my photo has faded, the imprint of those images in my mind’s eye is still brilliantly vivid so much so that 7 decades later I’ve never forgotten the people and places of my childhood. They are treasures that I horde and keep safe in my heart because I know that childlike faith, along with childlike love, are an open road to God’s heart.
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” ~Matthew 18:3 ✝
Drop the last year of your life
into the silent limbo of the past.
Let it go, for it was imperfect,
and thank God that it can go.
Have you ever had one of those stagnant years where the lackluster of life seems to have dulled and you are stuck in a kind of limbo? Well that’s the way life seemed during my Sophomore year in college. Not only had my father’s death at the end of the previous year dashed me against the hard rocks of an excruciating reality for the first time in my life, but my faith had been shaken, deeply shaken by events in and around his funeral. Not only had I to contend with his death and hypocrisy in the church but also the reality that some anger “business” between Dad and I was now never to be resolved and forgiven. That combined with some deplorable actions by the clergy and leaders in the church lead to what would become a decades-long derailment in my walk with the Lord. So indeed something had snapped inside me. I was barely 19 years old and I had commenced to fall apart which became clearly reflected in my first semester grades that year. By midterm I found myself on scholastic probation both for the University as well as for my sorority. Even my dreams of living in Paris had paled under the duress of my heartache and befuddlement. And for months and months nothing changed; lines had been blurred, dreams had faded, and hope had grown dim. I was stuck, stuck in limbo, stuck in unfamiliar waters of being, and all the while suffering, hurting alone since I’d been told by elders I should put my grieving aside and be strong for my mom and two younger sisters. But life has a way of moving on whether one feels its progression or not, and by the end of the second semester, my grades had come back up and a tiny ray of light began to break through the gloomy cloud cover that had been shrouding my world.
A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. ~Proverbs 15:13 ✝
**Photo of La Tour Eiffel taken by Natalie Scarberry