The Letters

wpid-2013-05-09-14.58.40.jpgTwo letters came in the box on the road
the one that is accustomed to holding no great thing.
Unless you count taxes and coupons among the great things in God’s creation.
Some how no, though Caesar needs his due too.

Two letters came in the box, diverging days apart, like Frost’s roads
Our only choice was to open and savor and feel changed
By the power of words written by hand, delivered by snails and placed in a box on the road.

Moments are simple that way.
A child old enough to go to war and vote says this was the best one he ever got.
Words like that grab you
Pinch like ill-fitting shoes, a wake you up pinch.
And shout you have that too, dormant, laying there.

Two letters came but some words came by social media too
Choked me up, bright red flush came over me
Words can do that
Someone called me a name, a good one
Undeserving but I wore it around the house for awhile like a royal robe
Put the crown on too
Realized she didn’t really know me as well as she thought.

Some words touched someone the other day, they were true
The ones I wrote about the man who grows art with thorns in his yard.
He uses dirt but he has the Louvre of roses over there
And I didn’t even know it until
Well I read some of his words about it
Asked if I could stop by.
A few words later and I have all these photographs of miracles
He grew with God, art in the yard, co-creator he and God.

He just gave her twenty dollars
For her life’s work and ministry
He didn’t have a lot knocking around his money clip
It never was about the money anyway
But she sat down and wrote a two page letter

A letter ended up in my box
And I wanted to weep but couldn’t
I have to be tough these days, so I don’t leak all over every one
Letters of gratitude are still in vogue
And manners are important but matters of the heart
Well they trump it all.
And twenty dollars really can matter
And it’s all about the friendship that started over how we might help a little. A very little bit.

And the funny thing is the lady that brings all of the snail mail
Well she broke me up, tore me up
She wrote a little piece and put it in the box
She covered us with forty seven cents and she wanted her money back
She did us a service and she wanted to be repaid
So I pulled out my Crane stationery and thanked her properly for the loan
Because it could have been her last red dime.

Because she brings good gifts.
Like the one that the teacher saved for seven years
The one the eighteen year old who could be a soldier got
The best mail ever
Because teachers and letter writers change lives
She said remember when I asked you in fifth grade to write a letter to yourself in seven years, well here it is.

And we’d lost two pets and his favorite food is still tacos and his brother isn’t married
But we see the value in loving in the simple
And holding a child’s letter for seven years

And if you want to tell someone they are a good role model you might
make their day
or tell a man you want to see his garden
or just say something to someone

Chances are you
might get filed away in a mental memory
make a young man smile
or make a new friend, a man who didn’t know anyone really saw all the beauty
or bless a  woman who thought she wasn’t getting it all right
or a mail carrier who doesn’t have forty seven cents to lend out.

That long arm and those long fingers have work to do.
Go tell someone something that might change their heart
Or mind.

And sofa cushions are good bankers
For investments in people

And I talk to myself when I need a good talking to.

wpid-2013-05-09-14.56.03.jpg

A Writer’s Sabbatical Prayer

wpid-IMG_20130505_165206.jpg

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

mom holding rose FAVE

A Writer’s Sabbatical Prayer

Lord, thank you for the gift of words
I praise you for the ways You speak
Lead me as I seek Your face
Walk me by the waters that refresh
And show me how to use Your gift
Thank you for a time apart
To hear you, know you, see your world
Thank you that you trust us to create
I love you, mold me in these seven days of seeking
Your child, your poet, writer, humble friend

Lord send the Holy Spirt, to comfort and provide

Mold me as you would, the clay
Amen and again a hushed and quiet deep amen.

wpid-IMG_20130505_165324.jpg

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
cropped-mckenzie-beach-sepia1.jpg

Learning To Live As A Child

spencer with butterfly on handI sat in the middle of a field of clover yesterday, cold spring wind chilling my bones while my insides were warmed by discovery.
I sat in the middle of a playground yesterday, not as a mother or grandmother, but as a new friend to small children.

And I walked through the backdoor of childhood and saw the world through the portal of wonder. It was as if I were a little Alice for an hour or two. But you don’t get there in the blink or the nod or the snap you might think.

No it is a slower dance than even I thought it would be.

Re-entering the world of little ones. You walk gently into sacred territory with respect and eyes wide open to wonder.

And it looks like  preparing for a make believe wedding with clover bridesmaids bouquets. And it smells like dirt balls thrown high to the sky. They are snow or dirt or sand. You speak it and they are changed.It feels like ice-cold metal chain. You hold the chain while you push the swing and if its March and Spring is late, the metal is cold as blocks of ice on your trembling flesh.

When I pulled the white down comforter up over my memories of the day and tucked myself into bed I remembered. I remembered what I learned from being a child, the stirring of emotions my backdoor entrance into childhood kept me awake. I longed to hold on to the day that I knew could not be repeated. Not one of them can.
I can still smell the clover, sweet and fresh. I lifted the flower to my noise over and over this day trying to recall if I remembered this fragrance.

But it smelled new to me. As so much of the day felt new. How had I forgotten the smell of clover or had I never recorded it in my youth.

Had I let my self grow so far away from the mystery and wonder of seeing the world as an Alice?

I asked my new friend who is five or so to see if she could find a four leaf clover. And then I waited for her return. Sweet excitement in her face, she brought back a hand filled with new discovery. That a four leaf clover can be a three leaf clover plus one borrowed leaf from another. That life can be viewed and seen in so many different ways. We limit ourselves as adults. I looked down at the three leaf clover plus the ripped piece from another, sacrificed to total four. Amazed by her creativity, I long to see the world with saucer-shaped eyes. To see it slant in all its mysteries.

At her invitation into child’s play, I entered into a game of hide and seek and found so much more than my friend hiding behind a tree trunk. I re-discovered play and release of the bondage of adult sensibilities, if just for a few minutes. Life is full through the eyes of a child. We watched dogs race and return a thrown ball to their human. And we found squirrels’ nests nestled in the bare tree limbs. And in these frozen moments on a cold spring day, I stared at a squirrel scratch an itch behind his ear. And helped my friend see two messy nests. Where have I been looking if not up. How have I missed so much.

And in throwing a baseball back and forth with her three year little brother, I observed meekness, gentleness, and forgiveness when the ball hit hard on her back. I learned in an afternoon in the park what I needed to tuck into my soul for a refresher course. I needed remediation on play.

I needed to count and run and watch a made up disco dance. And say good job. My soul was hungry for looking at art drawn in the sand with a stick. My soul needed  to watch a paper plate soar as a frisbee on a windy day. My imagination lay dormant more than I knew. Until it was cracked open a bit at the hand of a wildly creative girl and her brother.

Discovery came through the eyes of a child, on a cold day, in a park in Charleston. When the world of an adult was frozen, thankfully in time. And a dormant imagination began to  wake up to the new world that waits all around.

I was Alice for a day because of  friendship and a playdate. One boy and one girl helped me see the world through the eyes of a child. And I am learning to live as a child again.

spencer gets a shot from the top

Joining Jen and Heather.

6144223072_aba44084aa_m