On The Things We Thought Would Come

I would have bet my life on it. I would have said there was a one hundred percent chance it would be. And then the things didn’t happen. They just didn’t.

We planted tomatoes in the late spring or was it early summer. I even wrote about the bounty that would come. I planned and dreamed and even longed with great expectation for the day. I announced, prematurely that we would have more than plenty and more than enough. And that we would share and give away. Joyously gift what I knew we would have to give.

I was hoping on things not seen. Longing for things to come. I had based my hope on the past. It had been this way year after year. We had experienced abundance. And thriving. And more than we could possibly enjoy. And so we would share this year. My mouth watered with anticipation at hot from the oven tomato pie and homemade pasta sauce made with basil.

Our tomatoes didn’t thrive. Yes, we had a few. But they would not win any awards. No matter how biased the judges would be (the growers). The cucumbers were “meh.” I thought we had planted squash, maybe they just didn’t come up or I missed the one that did while I was away for a few days.

And then there is the issue with our figs. The early spring cold front damaged the tree. Now the few figs we seem to have are being eaten by the birds and squirrels. We cherish the ten or so we pick everyday, rushing out to pick them early in the morning and late in the day. It is us against the cardinals.

I have lived my life as a glass half full person. And I am still that person. I am not Pollyanna but I am hopeful and mostly optimistic.

But I am learning that what we have now, what we have in these present moments are a gift. That looking forward and longing and dreaming are good. Even necessary and so integral a part of our humanity. I am a dreamer too. But these things we hold in our hand now are fragile. Sacred. Tender. The right here right now is what we have.

I will miss the tomatoes and the figs. I am missing squash from the garden with basil and onions four nights a week.

But the lack of fruit and vegetables from our backyard garden  has been a physical reminder, a needed remedial lesson. With the mild disappointment of a rather pathetic garden, I see through the lens of continued hope. Hope that holds fast and hard and firm. Even through disappointment. Even when we felt so sure we knew the outcome.

Life went a little off script. And that is increasingly more than okay.

Hope and faith which have permanence and staying power are hope and faith which ride out disappointment. Which wait for the tide to turn, for the next time, for redemption to color it all in technicolored grace.

As I work through the final stages of a writing project, I am reminded that the outcome is held in a place of unknowing. And I am increasingly okay with that. Because every step of the process, every word I have put down, deleted and re-written has somehow changed me, formed me anew.

Thank you for being here. For reading and journeying with me. You are a bountiful harvest for which I am grateful. You are friend. You are reader. You are co-journeyer.
You are subscriber, follower. You take time to read and to be here.  You listen. You listen well.

And I am grateful.

It would be an honor and I would be filled with gratitude for your continued support in these ways: if you would support my writing by liking my Facebook writer’s page, click the link here and if you would consider subscribing to my monthly newsletter, click here or at the tab at the top of this homepage. If you are on twitter or instagram, I am @graceappears there and there.

As a writer and artist it is always difficult to ask for help in these areas. So thank you. Thank you. Know that I am grateful.

 

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When Grief Is Like A Runaway Train

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When Grief Is Like A Runaway Train

There is a hole as wide as a manhole cover
Shot through the inside of me
We are tangled up in a web of grief
And darkness cannot hide

The sun is screaming today
There are words behind the rays
Sweat and blood drip
We are hot and tired

The ties that bind
Cords of humanity are stronger than the death grip
I see a cord of three
Still
I know

The web is tangled, connecting us
All
Me to you and you to them and me to them
The those who gathered to pray
When hate walked in

Shot a hole through the insides of the souls
Gathered and huddled round the holy
And darkness cannot hide
For we all shall gather to pray

I want to wipe the tears
And say I love
And say I am sorry
Holy Comforter call us into the healing

My sentences run fast and hard and choppy
The train of grief is slow, then fast and then it runs away
Before it slows and stops
And lets the grieving grieve

Heavy
The past that casts a shadow on the
Now
They chose the nighttime to gather and pray
I met my husband in the city
Love lives there too

Let the grieving grieve
And the healing fill the holes
The ones in the flesh and the bones
Of the ones who ache
With the pain of loss

My child
She learns in this city, and my child
She learns in the middle of this
Tangled web we weave
Holy City, hold your hurting

Love lives here too

Lord, have mercy
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The Unwrapping

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I was a ripper. A peaker. An unnoticing receiver. Noticing by default. The things under my nose. You can’t miss what lies in wait to capture you, hold you and wrestle you to the ground. By grace, we are entrapped by the beauty of surprise and ordinary miracles.

By grace, He holds our chin and turns our heads. With beauty.

We are the walking dead if we miss it all. I glanced a ways away and I was no longer there. I was gone. Hurled into the land of Alice’s world and a Narnia place.

I had to leave. Forgive me. The crowd was a cacophony. The china on chargers held me too. But for awhile. And then I left, to keep my peace. To go and find it. To hold fast to my soul and to open my eyes to the better banquet. One nestled in trees and leaves and lawns.

I was always an eaves-dropper. Picking up and honing in. Not missing the sounds surrounding a soul on the run. Even when I was barely awake.

And so I have some small gift. That I must unwrap. So that I may unwrap, the beauty.

Oh, how grievous I would be, if I had missed the blossom, as big as the Queen’s head or the Cheshire Cat. While dining on the finest of fine.

Seeing the shadows dance on white linen and spotless glass. Silver to the right and to the left.

I left to find more. Avoiding a melancholy grief.

Missing the divine, the holy, the huge?

Never unwrapping the gifts?

Oh how dreadful it would have been. To have never seen. Those ordinary, most extraordinary of things.

The Waiting & The Rising

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The Waiting & The Rising

I woke to the rising. In the evening we laid down the embryonic balls of yeast. Flat, filled with expectancy. Colorless, void of much. Hoping the transformation would yield goodness. Trusting the changes would give us, the hungry, sustenance even abundance. In the morning.

In the new mercy morning, the air told faint tales, held shy signs and gave hope. There would be a rising.  Fullness would come. Yeasty promise had started its morphing into promise. Hope was rising.

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We went to bed last night with a heaviness. Some one dear to us is struggling. From miles away we wrestle with all the emotions. This longing for the best for this wanderer is an ache that pierces. It rises up within us. And yet it is not for me. I lay it down again and again. Knowing the promise that He is there. I offer the pain into His hands, again. He is the potter. And what lovely work He has done. He has shown me. I must recall.

We are co-wrestlers in the battle for a life well-lived. A life of yielding into His deepest longings for us, His children. A life of bending a knee and bending an ear. Of surrendering and yielding. Listening and seeking. Yearning. Quieting our spirits to hear his will.

Goodness and mercy are here and coming. Heaving up in the rising.

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I offered a gift. My soul knew. I had been there before. Heard the faint cry. I will send it soon. But the collecting and gathering, the sending of little hints and clues as to what it will be will bring me joy. I will anticipate the giving as she anticipates the receiving. We will delight together. My friend and I will gather as two around the table of fellowship. Just as the prayer gathers around the hurting and wounded. Just as the Christ-follower hovers over, in gentle tenderness, with love in love, for the ones with  spirit that is broken.

I will give. She is open to receive. A transaction of love will take place.

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Oh that we would await the rising up. Hold fast in the waiting. Hold steady, though fragile, in the times of doubt.
I know the gifts He has given in the seasons of waiting. I remember his goodness. I recall it. And I look for clues that there is more goodness to gather up.

The Yarrow he designed is tall and waving. The Queen Ann’s Lace is transforming my yard into a garden for royalty. The hummingbird came to my window last night at dusk in search. My garden is exploding with promise. A packet of seeds is in the past. The fruit on the squash is tender and young. Strawberries are green, but they will be crimson and sweet. Soon. They promise me and hold me in my waiting.

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This morning the flat monochromatic mounds rose up. And turned a light brown. Layer upon layer of goodness held a steamy comfort in every bite. Croissants. Every bite a remembering. Of times and things I have loved.

Joining Sandra