The Turning: In Which Around Every Corner Is A Discovery

shrimp boats on at night

Often they are small. And then other times they are wonderful and large, looming truths about life. They hover like ebony rain-packed  summer clouds in the afternoon. Or they float by like seeds blown from a spent dandelion. They are coming and going. A constant force to be reckoned with. They are hatchlings and seedlings and fledglings of this life.

Birthed in unexpected places and moments, they appear. And I am called to be vigilant and at peace. A combination of human emotion that allows tender and tough to co-exist. Tender enough to capture the magnificence. And tough enough to know that in the netting, there will be objects that must be released. It is not all glory and it is not all beauty. But seeking the lovely, the grace-filled and the glorious requires casting the net into the life seas.

In a state of watchful child-like wonder I can live this season of my life in a state of re-born newness. Like a bivalve cracks open and lets the water flow in and out, receiving and releasing. Keeping the nutrients, releasing the sediments. I am called to continually take in the discoveries of my life. I would starve on a diet of bland, if I never crack open the door to wonder. I would miss the shades of blue on the hydranga that go to purple, lavender and aqua. And  the hidden greens waiting to decide which color to be.

We would never know the way rain feels, dropping from a summer storm on warm tanned flesh if we remain cocooned in dry places. One more day reveals one more smell or taste, never before experienced.

And words of an eighteen year old child who want to tell their story get tangled in my net. I can choose.  I choose to  listen and realize there is more than the words unfurling from the man/child lips. There is a heart of curiosity and trust. There is his own discovery needing a place to land and light.

In a moment or two, a child will awake from her warm quilted bed in an air-conditioned room and tell me of her ten day mission trip. She has gone away and seen poverty and a world outside of her own. She and her passport are back. And there are stories to gently receive.

A parent lives a layered life of discovery. Because she holds the key to seeing through a child’s glistening eyes. Her own, the ones who look to her and call her momma. And it magnifies the wonder. For at once she is receiving discovery  through her own glassy portals  and stooping down to see through the eyes of those she is raising.

If I see with open wonder and a seeking heart, will I show my children how even in my fifty-fourth year of life, the beauty never ends. The unveiling never stops. And his Kingdom is filled with marvelous intricate designs. That art is living, breathing, waiting, hoping, pulsing all around.

And I am in this middle place. I see through the eyes of my aging mother too. The joys rebounding in her life. The strange and child-like discovery that is hers as she moves through her days. She forgets and then she remembers. And if I can learn to refine a listening heart,  I will hear the most intricate details of a woman, a mother and another poet’s life.

Around every corner is a discovery.  I will raise my net.

And bend into a low and listening stance, ever vigilant, ever watchful. Filled with the ready knowing that something is waiting. And that something is beautiful.

I will round the corner at a slow and steady gait. One that expects to not miss a single fleck floating in the sun-soaked or moon-drenched air.

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Joining Jennifer and Emily

Off The Beaten Path – PhotoBlogging In The Woods

I can go into the woods.

I can walk the paths before me, wander under a canopy of beauty.

And lose myself in the mountains. Experience long moments of solitutude.

Intentional in my aloneness. Choose to separate self.

Restore my soul. Surround  myself with  a symphony of birdsong. By design.

A canvas of greens and earth-toned brown beauty warm my soul like a woolen blanket.

Beside a stream. Life-giving water gurggles. Soul-restoring haven by the rushing. I can stand.

And like Robert Frost, name them, the woods lovely, dark and deep.

A place to rest in the lovely and the dark.

Where light shines though the Rhododendon blossom like a call, the other side of this refuge holds hope.  A promise in light.

And the water heals, the sound, the smell, the cool, and all that it gives. All of my senses capture the gift of the stream.

But I was meant for relationship. And I was created for community.

He calls me back into the arms of relationship. Into the community that is my world. The intimate one and the larger one of which I am a member.

And there is love.

And there is hurt.

And joy.

And brokenness.

And woundedness.

And disappointment.

And hope.

And healing.

There is every emotion that we were designed and created to experience.

In relationships with each other.

So I draw on the woods. I take from the tree-barked harbor. I leave the sanctuary of the solitutde.

And I live my life in relationships. I seek to build, restore, re-fresh, re-new, and re-love, again.

Each one.

Each precious, tender, sacred one.

And not in my strength alone, but in that of Creator God, maker of Heaven and Earth.

But those woods that Robert Frost knew so well, will call and I will go, again.

Tomorrow.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains-

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

The Maker of heaven and earth.- Psalm 121


“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.” by Robert Frost “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”

There Is A Place Somewhere, I Imagine

“One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others”    —    Lewis Carroll

And there is a place somewhere I imagine,

where all of the small things are really quiet large.

Where one small word has the power to change hearts.

Where one word of gratitude changes perspective, forever.

Where one apology heals the broken and restores love.

Where  a word of encouragement mends a fence between a mother and a child.

Where a small meal is like a feast at a banquet when family gathers around.

Where one phrase spoken in love and compassion brings healing between friends.

Where one sign of hope restores faith.

Where one moment of silence can restore peace in the soul.

Where one small prayer uttered in faith tethers the heart of a believer to her God.

Where one simple thing in all the world points a searching world to God’s Grace, God’s Mercy, and God’s Love.