Joy – Letters From The Village

joy boat leland

(In this Lenten series, Letters From The Village, I am speaking out from the heart with my strugling voice, through a fading art form. Letter writing. Because? Why? There is a lovely intimacy between reader and writer which rests in the lines of a letter. Break the seal, open the thin glue lined envelope, pull the paper from its home in the nestled space and read.)

Dear Sad You,

Hold on tight to the Lover of Your Soul in these dark times. When much seems bleak and  the world is cloaked in hurt and you wear a heavy coat of confusion, cling and grasp your God. His very hand.

And if these times were not ,would you hold on tight like the barnacles on boat bottom, hull hold fast? Do you embrace hard, white-nuckle in need and cling as the Confederate Jasmine to the lamppost when all is calm?

This place of self-sufficient stillness leaves you untethered in pride and independence, one step away or farther from your Christ.

If not for the whirling times, the turbulent stirrings in your world would you rest assured, rest alone, one step away from the Comforter.

Dear sad one, it is hard, so hard to see in this fog of war, a war in your very world. But throw your life-line to the One who calms the seas and guards your boat and loves you with unfailing love. And know that Joy comes in the morning.

Grab hold in love. Squeeze tight the line. And put on the lens of faith. That on the other side is recovery from the squalls and lessons learned in rocky times. And the same God, unchanging, always loving, remains before the storm, through the storm, and on the other side.

Look through the lens of faith and trust. Look through the lens of faith and know.

Look ahead assuredly with a knowing. Joy comes in the morning. Read the unchartered places as chartered. Steer ahead in confidence and faith. Waver not. Worry not.

And begin to set the table of celebration during the pitch and toss of your vessel. Because when the waters calm and the swells die out, you will throw a party in your soul and celebrate what you now know anew.  You will glean the glory from the storm. And what is evident in the light will bring you closer to the Protector.

Sad one, celebration longs to throw her confetti high and colorful in the air. Where the winds of change can carry it away in joyous currents of rightful praise.

It will  sail away on the winds of sweet release.

And Joy will come and the Light will be radiant, blinding even. On the other side of the storm. The blinding blue sky hovers over the horizon of doubt and gloom.

Welcome Joy as she waits to reclaim her rightful place.

And rest in and on the safe place. Hover under the Protector’s coverage, safe and dry. Warm and loved.

Then tell. Speak of Him who brought you through.

Dear broken heart put on the lens of faith and wipe the fog from your shattered view. Restoration of the broken and recovery from the wreckage wait in love, right round the next turn.

Joy is sweeter, so much sweeter after the winds have whipped your ship and tangled your heart in the messy. After your time up on the rocky hard places, sip from the cup of Joy.

And the mystery of this is just that. The Joy tastes sweeter  after the choppy trip through rough times.

Then rest. Know He is good, your God.  And thank. Savor and see. That He is good. So good, sweet one.

Your Joy has come in the morning. Sing a song of praise.

be still know thank

joining Emily, Ann, and Jennifer

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Bend, Bow, and Bare “Letters From The Village” – Day 3

Day Three in the series “Letters From The Village” in which I pen a poem of praise, writing as if in letter form to the bending bowing limbed beauties. The wood from which the cross was cut and hewn.oak park tree my fave

trees in oak park

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trees skyward

Bend, Bow and Bare

You teach us well the lessons
How to bend and bow
To stand and lift, turn toward the sacred
Stretched skyward in tall praise.

You show us well the lessons
Of how to bare a soul, strip down to  simple naked frame
Stand stark, vulnerable, 
No covering to hide the shame or blight

You live well this life of shedding, pruning back
Of cutting back dead wood, this vital piece, the
Part that leads to vibrant verdant growing, new life
I watch you walk through seasons dignified, majestic, stark to full

Simple beauty,

I stare, eyes fixed in silent solemn  awe,

I gaze on your reverential stance displayed in vertical repose

Dear Ones who show us how to bend and sway rooted deep in soil of life
You lift up strong, your limbs in praise
And bear your radiant fruit in due time
You who holy held the son of God on wood hewn cross He bled

the sins of all were carried on His back while nailed, obedient, to you.

The pain, the nails

The perfect sacrifice.

And so we bow

and bend lower, lower still

lower day by day inside the shadow that you cast for us, recall His holy sacrifice

The bark, stump, root, limb, leaf, bud and branch

Metaphor for us,

We the people of the cross.

We bend, we bow

We break, we bare,

We look to wooden ways, the forest and the trees.

amen ,no alleluia’s at this time, stark worship on these days

Remembering

The stump, the root, the cross, a final sacrifice received

Bent humbly, praising God

You teach well these lessons

Of both the  forest and the trees.

big bent tree sepiatrees, moss, bluetree cowpraying praising tree

Dear Henry – “Letters From The Village” – Day Two

provider two mcclellanville

A letter for my future grandchild calls him to see, calling him to be, aware, alive and grateful for the beauty in his grace-filled days.

Dearest Henry,

The squid ink squirts across the night
Sky, a canvas
Blackening, a blanket for sleepy day’s cover
And you will look up while holding my hand
To soak in a heavenly sea of delight
The pin pricked sky over Jeremy Creek
Twinkles its twinkling radiant stars
Flashing and blinking and winking at you

Cast your eyes, your chin tilted skyward
Throw out your vision as shrimpers their nets
Connect the dots with your gaze make big dipper
Then squeeze tight my hand while we gaze
At the moon,together
The man in the moon is smiling at you
Sweet Henry, sweet child
He’s smiling at me, he’s grinning at us

And one night its cuticle thin like a sliver
Cut with precision, smooth as french silk
Capture the glory now in your memory
Maker
Capture it now for tomorrow brings change
Somewhere so briefly between the waxing and waning
A thin sliver hangs graceful over our dreams
Blink and it changes, sleep and its gone.

Tomorrow when sleepy day goes down for the night
You and I will walk out to the edge of the world
The edge of the water its lapping and flapping
Bobbing the shrimper’s boats like toys in the bath
And the sky will become radiant with color
We’ll stare at the pinks, the hot and the cool ones
Right before orange blazes her brush through the sky.

And off to the heavenlies the day will retreat
To sleep beside dipper and man in the moon
The day will rest up for her glorious tomorrow
And you dear Henry will sleep awhile too
For tomorrow there are treasures and glorious discoveries
To make and unwrap, to claim and collect
Tomorrow the sea will deliver her beauties right at the feet of sleepy-head you.

Love, Lent, And Letters From The Village (Day One)

After an unplanned sabbatical from writing, I am beginning  anew today  with a series dovetailing the Lenten season. I hope you will walk with me through these days leading up to Easter as I write in the form of letters. Both poetry and prose. But each day a letter expressing prayers, deep searching, mediations of the heart, wonderings, wanderings and an exploration of grace. Grace in the everyday. 

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I have become increasingly drawn to the beauty of the art of letter writing. Its intimacy, its romantic vehicle for reaching the soul of another calls me to seek and know more.  The beauty found in writing tender thoughts from one to another intrigues me. And so I want to explore the art form here in a series entitled “Letters From The Village.”  Happily, I am spending some time in a small shrimping village. This is a place I have known and loved for a long season of my life. Hidden here are memories of marriage, raising three children and celebration upon celebration with friends. Tucked away. Folded in. Wrapped in the salty soil of this place. And so there is deep meaning and significance in beginning these letters to you from “the village.”  That you will open and read, break the wax seal on each is gift. The first is penned on Valentines Day and  is being written from the heart of this place. 

It is my hope and prayer that the art of grace will set the tone as we walk through the holy days of Lent, preparing for Easter and the sacred days waiting for celebration in Holy Week.

There is a thinness, sparseness woven in these days. A dignified seriousness to the pulse and cadence of these moments. The beat is sacred. The breathing measured. Breathe deep the grace of Lent.

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Dear Patient One,

I write to you on Valentines Day, a poem, the first in a series entitled “Letters From The Village.”

May others discover more of their story in reading some of ours.

Love,

elizabeth

Waves of Grace

We washed up here years ago
Its been years since we first
Drove up and saw that Hugo water marked wall
And fell in love
It was potential we saw
And knew a life could be built

We came back here after tears before them too
And fell for it and each other
We kept coming back
Wave on wave of worry
Left at the entrance
We rocked under the moon and stars

You drove a nail and held that hammer
And we drove kids down
We packed a bag
And fled the mundane
To discover the extraordinary in this ordinary
Life has a way of repeating

Like the scavenger gulls that cry
We have 
And laughed and lost our way
On that sea
A time or two
And now only
A year or so remains they grew

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Joining Emily and my community at Imperfect Prose on Thursday’s for today’s word prompt LOVE