In the middle of the journey of our life
I came to myself within a dark wood
where the straight way was lost.
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
“…For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” ~Luke 19:10 ✝
There is a sacredness in tears.
They are not a mark of weakness,
but of power. They speak
more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are the messengers of
overwhelming grief, of deep contrition,
and of unspeakable love.
Nikki was born to us after nine years of marriage, 5 days before my thirtieth birthday and ten days before her father’s 37 birthday. From the instant of her birth, she was, has always been, and is still the greatest joy of our lives. And though James and I know intellectually that she is only 12 hours away by car or an hour and a half by air, somehow it feels like she is far, far away, on the opposite side of the world now. And it’s not that we don’t wish her and her family well. We truly do wish them the very best always, and we know that the Lord has laid this opportunity upon their altar of their lives for a reason. But James and I are lost in sadness at the moment and don’t want anyone to try to minimalize what we’re feeling or tell us it’s foolish or that it will be all right. Also, what Mr. Lewis said is very true because some of what we’re experiencing does feel like fear. Long ago I read in a piece of literature (The Miracle Worker) that we don’t just keep our children safe; they keep us safe as well. So today has been hard, very hard, and for me there have been tears, lots of them as well as fears for both of us. And when I’m hurting like this, I withdraw and become introspective as I search to find my bearings, my balance, my true north again.
When someone you love is gone
in some way from your life,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you gets fragile,
Your thoughts make you unsure…
~Edited and adapted excerpt
by John O’Donohue
“…Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~Excerpt from Joshua 1:9 ✝
Winter is the slow-down
Winter is the search for self
Winter gives the silence you need to listen
Winter goes gray so you can see your own colors…
What is your color? Do you know? If you do, do you like what you see? If you don’t, maybe you should give some thought as to why. For what colors us, colors our world and the way in which we respond to those around us. Perhaps like me, the seasons determine your colors, which I’m given to believe is a good thing. I rather like the idea of being a whole spectrum of colors as opposed to being a monotonous stream of only one or two. Whether such things matter is not the true import of my discourse here however. As Guillemets suggests we truly do need time to slow down, time to rest, time to listen, time to reflect on things for soon we will forge full speed ahead into another year of life that we’ll never get back, that when it’s over will never afford us more chances to change, that when it’s spent will never allow us more time to become all that we are meant to be, that when it ends will never give us other opportunities to forgive, to love, to find and bring peace. So when I find myself grumbling about the grays of sunless, winter days, I tell myself that perhaps they happen because the color gray is a good back drop for discerning the true colors of life, the unmasked face of the world, and our authentic reflection upon its stage.
A year of beauty. A year of plenty.
A year of planting. A year of harvest.
A year of healing. A year of vision.
A year of passion. A year of rebirth.
A year of peace.
This year may we renew the earth.
Let it begin with each step we take.
And let it begin with each change we make.
And let it begin with each chain we break.
And let it begin every time we awake.
~Edited poem by Starhwak
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. ~Psalm 90:12 ✝