If You Really Look, You’ll See

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If You Really Look You’ll See

Diamonds mounted on each blade of grass
No gold or platinum
Here
Emerald green
Shoots safely sheltering
Droplets left
Last night or
By the early morning dew

Do you see
Whimsy rained down on the land
Perhaps it’s sips of champagne
Resting on the verdant shoots
Served in earthen flutes
On the lawn
For a thirsty, spotted chipmunk
Parched from
Racing through the rain
To toast the earth’s season change

And if you look you’ll really see
What is invisible
To many
So many rushed and hurried
Souls
Blind
To the garland embellishment
Laid carefully on the old grey stone
Preparing a Fall Party, a grande fete
With mushrooms, toadstools
For each guest
To sit and sip the beauty
Served to those who wish to see

If you look you’ll see
Her
Red carpet’s been
Rolled out
Maple, Oak and Dogwood leaves
Nature’s finest Oriental underfoot
The finest accoutrements for
Each merry guest

A harried pace will make you blind

To diamonds, garlands
And tree roots bent in such a way
To give a weary sojourner
A place to sit and rest

I was blind
But now I see
The field mice sipping Jasmine Tea
From the finest porcelain
Beside the Monarch’s who dropped in
For a festive tea party

And I like Alice
Remain with them

For childlike wonder
Unveils the hidden things
Previously unseen by man

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A Letter To A Friend – The Art of Noticing “Real” Friends

Today is Day 22

Dear You,

I want to proclaim you, rejoice you, celebrate you and delight in you. Have you seen this series, here, this 31 Days, The Art of Noticing? Well my dear today is Day 22 and today is your birthday. Here ,this tribute is for you, to you, your heart, your soul but above all, your amazing ability to draw on the gifts and life around you. To ingest them, invest  them by serving and loving. Here is your bursday present. You know how much I adore the you I have grown to know and love.

harriett stoney and elizabeth happy

You know we could discuss the title. For hours. What is a real friend anyway. And we could debate the meaning of true and real. Afterall what is a unreal friend. You know maybe you are an unreal friend.

Do you remember last year on October 22, your birthday, I wrote a little letter to you, here, it was called Encouragement, A Letter To A Friend.  A few people read that letter, 2,028 to be exact from around the interweb. And you and I would scratch our heads and wonder how they found this place and the letter I wrote to you. And we’d probably agree how happy we are a few more people discovered when your birthday is. That is good. Or maybe we’d celebrate the fact they they get to hear my testimony to what you are and who you are to this world, and especially me.

That was a year ago. People forget. And we hate it when people repeat themselves. It is so boring. So gauche. And so not charming. So I won’t say it exactly like I did last year. They can go back and read that post. H, do you know the reason this blog is here. Because you are an encourager. And you serve up straight talk without a side of sugar coating. You are a giver, not a taker, an inexhaustible source of encouraging words and actions. You told me I had to write. Your words were stronger than that. Gentle and bold. Sure and certain.

So it is only appropriate for this to be the place to weave words, string them along and along, like the strand of pearls you so faithfully wear. And that you would have a day. Day 22. Do you like that.
You would goad me and tease me and remind me to always point to Him. So I will, He has saved our backsides and frontsides and insides so many times. And loved us. Always loved us with mercy and grace. And you, his hands and feet, have saved me from despair and sadness. Confusion and the “I’m about to have a nervous breakdown but it is just so damn inconvenient right now” times.

So is that a real friend? One who loves through the dark and delights in the times of light and laughter. Bridges the bleak times and weak times, the  times of want, crossing over to the times of plenty.

There are no shortages of those. By his grace. And we like those better don’t we. The times on the porch, at the farm, in the creek, at Secret Beach, where we can have olive shell contests and laugh and dream and scheme and relish the in between. We prefer the days of poetry and praise, of watching our children grow, fall in love, accomplish a task, overcome a set back, bring home a friend who gives life and knows Truth. Become a woman or a man, of God.

We’d prefer to float in our boats with our men. To leave behind the worry of work and the pressures of life. To see them exhale and breathe in salt air. To open a beer and slip in a lime and wiggle our toes and let go of time. To see the very last streak of orange and pink. To  stay off shore until we have to come in. To turn up the music and dance crazy silly in our hearts.

And we  go without days, though painful and dry, without talking or saying a word. But running on fumes of love that is stored. Deep in the places where friendship is placed. Though trials have come, some that are too awful to name, we know in our knowers that if we face them again, we can and we will. Because we are real friends.

And you know I would say it again, like I did before. If you go first, save me a seat. And warm a Charleston Green rocker with a wonderful view of the sea. Because we know our God well and we know our God deep. And there is no way  in this world that His heaven won’t have a wonderful view of the porpoise and shrimp boats on Jeremy Creek.

I love you. You bless me every single day of my life. I can’t remember before I knew you but I know there were years. You make life exciting and beautiful, glamorous and fantabulous.

Happy birthday, H. If you go first I will never forgive you. But then you would insist that I do. So okay I will. But I’d rather you not leave me a day on this earth, to live and to breathe and to celebrate living.

Take care of yourself.
Happy Day of Your Birth

I love you, I do. Happy Day 22.

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(Today is Day 22. Thank you as always for being here, for following along on this journey. If you wish to leave a birthday wish to my precious friend H, I will pass it on to her. She is my confidant, my accountability partner, my sister in Christ, and my closest friend. We raise children and husbands together and walk out our faith together with love and friendship and lots and lots of words between us.)

Harriett and I and the cross

Entanglement – Noticing Jealousy

wpid-IMG_20130830_200328.jpgToday is Day 18

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Empty beach shadow profileEntanglement

It comes in waves. But mostly it remains at sea.
Mirrors and mimics the tides.
Mercifully stays off shore for long and healthy seasons.
Recedes.
Replacing white-capped waves with tranquil seas.
And then the storms come
Churning up the waters,  turbulence sucks and spits and spins
Water spouts pop up in the darkest of spaces
Blow backwash in the pristine open air
Monstrous waves drown out joy
Bury hope beneath the weight of the abyss
And the wailing begins, again
Doubt is dumped like heavy silt
From the bottom, ocean’s floor
Wind and waves roar
Splash mockingly at me
Pieces of the soul, taken by the raging sea
Deposits broken bounty on the rock
Sun burned now they shatter
Cracked and brittle, bleached out
Under the blazing sun’s
Hallowed blinding rays
Unrelenting heat
Fire
Of the belly, from the pit
Killing off
All that  once was good
Replacing it with death

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It comes in waves
And when it does it drowns
Out perspective
Washes away
The gifts
Dilutes the passion and the art
Water logs the spirit
Dampens the soul
Like wrinkled flesh
The blessings
Now seem water logged
And repetitions of the sinful same
Bury treasures
The sea soaked soul
Her watery grave
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It comes in waves.
A gentle ebb, a gentle flow.
She scurries shorebird like
Running from the watery fingers of the waves
Seeks shelter from entanglement in
Nets of grasses
Jelly fish, the stinging nettles
Out to harm and weigh her down.

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And so it will be
Like the sea
Forever prsent, as the tides
An ebb
A flow
An in
An out
She seeks the shelter more, not less
A place of safety in the arms
Of  Creator of The Sea
And claims her prize
She runs from pride
In calm sweet waters
Now
And dives deep boldly into
Pools of  calm sweet grace
A ring of mercy safely round her neck
The  Saver of Her Soul
Floating now, in peace, atop
Wave on wave of His amazing grace.

Day one shadow

Ready Set Go Notice

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To read all the posts in this  31 Day Series click here

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