The Element of Surprise

The Element of Surprise

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And I heard
Bold prayers exploding from my lips
I wondered
Did another
Hijack my mouth
Borrow it for a moment
So I stuttered them again
To listen to myself in disbelief
Self reflecting, I checked
And
Made sure it was my heart
Leaking out around me
Rising up to Haven
In honest, humble ways

I came upon the narcissus in my yard
And felt how un-January of you
Bold and tender, white and frail
You seem more like Easter new to me
Yet I find
Your unique voice
Is  welcome here
Sitting, singing in the winter’s cold
For I know this is the time
Marked for
Blooming forth in honest ways

I almost called the manager
Suggested there was some mistake
So much beauty could be mine
For  $2.99, bouquet of luscious greens
As though the eucalyptus
Said pardon me and asked
If I would take her fragrance home
Where
She made promises
To sit by me while writing
In sweet and pungent, honest ways

Cancer news comes through the phone
Loss and disappointment crawl scrawled across my screen
My insides cry in wrenching sympathetic pain
For them, for all mankind
The earth is spinning wild and fast
And I am, yet still surprised
By the mix of joy and pain

But I will stand on hope
And recall the roses’ thorns
Small tight blooms, hold wonder
Unpicked, not ripe or ready yet
Hold their secrets, tucked
Still growing, on
The well-armed bush

Yet
In time’s fullness
Our moments will come
Birthed
In radiant fullness
Glory’s
Extravagant beauty
Poured out on the Earth

We will sing Hallelujah’s loud

And  bow in holy gratitude

Weep wet oceans of our humble thanks
For the pregnant
Waiting
Laced with scared hope
And rejoice in honest ways for
The unveiling
And

the mysterious
element of surprise

Living Out The Prequel

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Living Out The Prequel

If I am a story
Or a story is me
And we are turning pages
There is this unfolding
My breath is held and
I may forget to breathe

But living does not rest on whether
I remember
Or I forget

It is the mystery of baited breath
God grants me this until the end
And did God feel this way
On the days, one and two
Knowing what he knew of all that lay ahead
Knowing all he knew
About the peonies in shades of flesh and rose and the oyster with its hidden pearl
The sound of rain and rainy drops
Slowly tickling the backs
Of a parched and desert dry cracked earth

Do I know I know not what is to come

But breathing deep and breathing fast
Swallowed up by the fog of a heaviness
Expectant in the coming next
I know as any mother knows
To hold the baby to her breast and sit back
Long and languid, rest in waiting
Love

I know as the salt marsh tide knows
When to ebb and
When to flow
And in its knower
Knows that it will never stop

I know that I am walking
Through the days of prequel joy
Pregnant in expectancy
Of splitting hairs of heavy wait
Of counting stars and counting dreams
Of wondering how much joy a soul can hold

All the while entangled
In a mystery of how will it all end
And when
In the days left in the waning
Of the remaining

Until healing comes to all

Again

And the prequel gives way
To what He has in store

So I will turn the page
Savoring every word
That was
And will to come

Be still
And hear

the prequel

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The Dream Of The Waiting Soil: A Guest Post — Laura Boggess

Today is Day 30. Welcome. I am NOT ready for this series to end. Perhaps you are. Just as I’m getting into the groove it is time to wind down this October writing challenge. I am just being honest. I think that is important. Don’t you. 

Please join me tomorrow for what will be the last day of this series. I am still scheming and dreaming of how to say goodbye. Or how to pull the curtain. Or how to build a bridge to November. if you’d like to receive posts in your inbox (they slip in quietly without much fuss), click on the tab marked Subscriber at the top of the page. But of course, you already knew that.

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I am so honored to have my writer, blogger, friend, Laura Boggess guest posting today. Laura was one of the first bloggers I connected with when I began my writing journey in the land of the “interwebs”. And she was one of the first bloggers I had the sincere pleasure of meeting in real life. Yes I have looked directly into her beautiful blue eyes, into her soul. And she is a treasure. A gifted word weaver and a very gentle lady.
Enjoy Laura here. And then treat yourself to a copy of her new book, “Playdates With God”.

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I spend the mornings in the flowers–cutting back, pulling up, raking out. I’m late this year–the frost already thick on the grass when the sun drops the diamonds of first light. My mother-in-law told me to wait; let the birds glean what they will, she said. And they did. The coneflower is dry as straw, the Black-eyed Susans blink. All the color is gone from the garden. The brittle browns and faded rusts shush me as they rub together in the wind.

I rake leaf remains out from around tubers–their subtle reds and golds like scattered gems. The thick bans of iris greens break easily with fingers. I smooth around their fibrous heads, let them breathe. Already the leaves have started to make rich compost–the soil underneath fragrant and dark. I breathe deep its heady scent, close my eyes and dig fingers in the cool moist.

This afternoon the robins are in a frenzy over my newly cleared soil. I watch from the window as they hastily march back and forth amongst the stubby remains of my garden. It looks so clean. The mulch around the dormant clumps of green holds such promise. I wrap my arms around my sides–hug close this seed that strains against the dark soil of my heart. Yesterday the first snowbirds came calling. You are too early, I said to them, through the glass of the kitchen window. I watched them pick at the ground for stray seeds, rosy beaks and slate feathers speaking the horizon of scant days.

When i was in the seventh grade I wrote an essay about what I want to be when I grow up. Mr. Kovalan, our English teacher, assigned us a theme every week. It was my favorite thing about school. Each week I looked forward to discovering what topic he would put before us. Mr. Kovalan never said much, but his comments on my themes always encouraged me. This is very well written, he might pen. Or: A very good story. There wasn’t much I was good at, but Mr. Kovalan helped me see that telling stories was something I could do. But this one? What did I want to be? A girl like me didn’t have a lot of choices. A girl like me rarely left the hollow. I thought long and hard about it.

When Mr. Kovalan graded my essay, he left me with few words.

Your choice surprises me.

That was all he said. That dear, dear man.

It was the first time I thought that maybe I could be more. That maybe…maybe there was more than what I know.

When I was in seventh grade I learned to dream the dream of the waiting soil.

I am a sleeping garden. I dream of shoots of green breaking through earth with pointed fingers. A glimpse of sky rests on my memory–white on blue with golden hues. in darkness the dream speaks hope into the night.
In the darkness the garden becomes a thing of expectation–of sleeping joy.

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Author of the newly-released Playdates with God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-up World, Laura Boggess lives in a little valley in West Virginia with her husband and two sons. She is a content editor for TheHighCalling.org  and blogs at lauraboggess.com. Connect with Laura on Facebook and Twitter. Laura’s book is available on Amazon.

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The Vigil

come unto me

She swears the color yellow soothes a soul
So you will  find her staring at the garden
Fixed gaze on the yellowest flower there
In the yard
She guards
Her heart
Holding vigil over one who gives her labor pains
Though eighteen years have passed since birth
Holding hope for one
Who birthed her too
Traumatized by screams of pain
She is ripped in two
She finds the field of yellow calms her nerves
Between her shifting gaze she lays it down
And takes it up again, her sinful self desires to stir the pot
She rakes the coals, red hot
Searing
Bloody
Mad when stirred
Hotter when  she pokes the fire
Fear finds fuel in oxygen of snuffed out hope
So she’ll return to yellow on her color wheel
Where quiet and calm soothe her aching soul
Now she knows how He must feel
Father of a million times a million times a million, no more
And lover of as many souls
She will pick a single yellow stem
And give it all to Him
The Perfecter of Her Faith
The One Who Never Sleeps Nor Rests
She lays the flower down
She’ll rest
Reciting: Goldfinch, Monarch, Black-eyed Susans
Over in her dreams
Calmed by yellow memories and hum
It is well with my soul
For He has got her back, cradled in His arms
She wears the title
Mother, Daughter, but
No longer
Tender of a  flame that burns
Her heart consumed by fear.

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Joining Jennifer Dukes Lee for #tellhisstory