How to start again? Just pick up where I left off? Jump forward in time?
Sometimes so much changes, and nothing looks different.
Until I look up and out and see that even the oaks have let go their leaves, and the Pole Star shines through branches.
Inside, things continue to shift. Energy moves. It will, after all, in the same way that the truth will out.
It seems there is a choice, a relationship between intention and development. The responsibility of it is overwhelming at times.
And yet, the growing (so slowly!) feeling of safety is making it possible. I am working to remember that this living is not a series of permanent destinations, but a journey, a holy walk, a pilgrimage.
My life is full of so many agains. A strong repetition compulsion, my counselor tells me. Someone else might say themes, motifs, the same thing over and over again. Opportunities?
These are the ones Jenny and I saw as we talked and listened at the Trading Post on a cold and windy Saturday evening. A hawk soared in, wheeled down and swooped up to perch on the garden post.
Like sunrises, somehow all part of one Sunrise.
The Earth is tugging down the Sun, holding it a bit closer each day, until it seems it might not return.
Here in Advent (have I mentioned it's my favorite season?), we watch, prepare, open ourselves to God's incarnation in waiting hearts.
The Son is born again. The heavens open, and hosts of angelic beings make themselves available to us as we participate in bringing Christ to life, again and again.
And the world, these created bits of matter so seeking to live, offers itself in colors and shapes and symbols, language far beyond my knowing, even so speaking to me of hope, of light, of grace.
And the stars come out. And we turn about and turn about and turn about again.
And here she is, seven. A powerful number. A powerful girl.
It is often short-term-easy-long-term-hard to love her from a distance, except that she clamors for closeness and rocking. It is work to discern what is authentic need, what is habit, what is my capacity to respond, to diffuse, to allow.
I wonder how our lives would change were we, were I to focus on her schooling, which would be my schooling at the same time: she is expanding her sense of goodness to encompass the realm of beauty, and we both need to develop our wills to support that growth.
Fortunately, these children are resilient and forgiving. And a bit on the contrary side right now, providing many opportunities to practice boundaries, communication. gentleness. Love.
November is here. Catkins, seedpods, tree shadows.
Sun sinking into fire, moon settling into frost.
Remembering Mom, with other people who love the mountains and their people, who knew her apart from her family, and who miss her still now to the point of tears. And God moved: with her spirit close on that cold mountaintop morning, in the shadow of the house of grace, I spoke my secret dream, and it was smiled upon and lifted up.
Apples, from the Webb House, now sauce, juice, hard cider, dried, and stored in a root cellar. Did Nick and Lura ever imagine those reds and greens sliced on the front steps of a house in the coalfields, their skins braided and lassoed and chased after by children? We know so little of what we leave behind.
But I look at some of what my mother left behind, and I have a bare inkling, and a deeper resolve to keep alive the love of beauty, the joy of making things, the comfort of being together.
Thank you, Jessica, Jonathan, Sara, and Grace House -- it was a wonderful weekend!
(How am I supposed to call you, anyway? This whole Yahweh, Jehovah, Father-God just doesn't work for me on a personal level, and on a community level? I'm still looking for a way to make peace with that.)
That question really works as a stumbling-block, by the way, distracting me from the real work of talking to you.
Being with you.
Centering in you.
There are even stories of those who let go of the duality this dense matter presents and become one with you.
And if that's not distracting, I don't know what is.
So, anyway, I heard a prayer in an unlikely place -- unlikely to me, anyway, and mine -- and I pray it again, hoping my faith is sufficient to know your presence and live your answers.
Let us pray.
Dear God, I am tempted to regard my fears and disappointments as setbacks, limitations, obstacles. Please grant me wisdom, your truth turned to action, so that I might walk in your way and shine with your light, no matter the trials. And so it is. Thank you for responding to my request.