little bit of lagniappe

reflecting on everyday grace

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The Peace of Wild Things

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This is a portrait of my Gran Edie, a woman with the strength and beauty of wildflowers.

And a poem posted for her (and for new friends found in the Granite State):

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

-Wendell Berry

 

As Terry Tempest Williams says, “I want my life to be a celebration of s l o w n e s s.”

Yes.

And today, may we slow and stop long enough to count the miracles growing from the ground.

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quiet courage

I haven’t known how or what to write over this past, difficult month…or for much of this difficult summer, but on this sweet Sabbath eve, words finally found me. If this is the last blog post I’ve been given to write for a while or forever, that will be just fine, for this post is dedicated to my mama. As I continually recognize and learn, even while words house tremendous power, they often can only whisper echoes of what the heart has to say. So, while whole-hearted, these humble words-tumbled-out-on-a-page could never convey the fullness of mama’s quiet courage, her resilience, her faith — not just over these recent tough weeks while enduring and recovering from major surgery, but also over the course of her beautiful 69 years of breathing and loving and living on this earth.

Each day of my life as her daughter, and now more recently as her nurse, has made this life the blessing that it surely is.

As she encourages me daily, I pray that mama’s quiet courage can inspire us all through whatever storms we face to remember that though “weeping may stay the night [or a lot of consecutive nights], joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

quiet courage

For these four and something weeks,

you have battled not

with heavy armor, defending and deflecting,

or glaring an enemy in the face.

For these four and something weeks,

you have donned the quiet courage

of saints who fight pain and circumstance

with love,

who look to the rising sun

and feel hope

heavy in their pockets.

Even while pained and blurred

by the unexpected,

your eyes reflect

the wonder of this universe

and the hands much larger,

much stronger, much wiser

that made it.

You preach the Gospel, mama,

with those dancing eyes,

with your outstretched arms,

with your holding others’ hurts

even when riddled with your own.

You choose joy

with open, desperate palms

and a soft, willing face lifted to your Maker.

And now I see you stand again

on “Faith” and “Hope,”

unassisted and yet assisted by

these long, often nightmarish weeks.

As night fades into a deep sky,

small specks of light glitter

like childhood fireflies,

like the Grace that carried you through,

like the joy that will always

rise up

like a songbird at morning.

-C.C.T.

For beloved M.F.T., my songbird

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