Isn’t that such a beautiful thing
the Cusp of Spring?
Isn’t that such a beautiful thing
the Cusp of Spring?
India, soil of my bones: song of my soul. Heal my darling One who birthed my verse, my hunger, my thirst…
It gathers me,
these Leaves of days in a year of prayers
that changed even me,
Abba Father, thankyou.
May the day ahead and the ones to follow, fill you with a brand new season of rest, harmony and joy!
Once upon a time there was this one roomed house with a thatched roof, and it was a nice house to a nice couple. They were happy people with enough peace and joy to go around this season and the next. Farmer Jose and wife grew potatoes and onions, they were not rich they were not poor, but they had enough to go around for visitors and neighbours.
Oneday thieves broke in; the thatched roofing fell in as four local young men stole through their well worn box of coins and notes.
Farmer Jose and wife asked the boys why they hadn’t told them they were coming, they could’ve cooked them a warm meal, they said. It was nearing midnight but the old man took out some fruit and offered it to the young men.
“Keep the coins,” Jose said as the men left their home. “And do come back tomorrow if you can. We are lonely for company, and our sons live far away.”
The four young men returned to fix the roof, and would return to the Joses’ whenever they could.
This is a true story, I just don’t remember the names.
This Bench follows me room to room, down the stairs and out the door. What drew Dave Bignell to capture it?
“Well I used to walk through Hyde Park every morning when I worked in London and of course every season transformed my surroundings. I think in this particular case the bench just looked lonely or somehow protected by the lamppost, like it was standing guard.
It is delicious chilly outside here in Bangalore India, welcome chilly after a humid late monsoon. I’ve been blog writing ferocious after 365 days of waiting for our youngest to heal. My mind is too preoccupied to start December decor officially at home, but this photograph last week pulled me in like lyrics of a yuletide cantata would; you thought you got its message, but nah not yet.
My Ma and Gran went at Christmas like heaven would have a heart attack if they didn’t. I’m not the high octane happy worker bees they were, not me, but this photograph from a place I’ve never been gets my attention just when energy levels are belly crawling. There I said it.
Out in my street by a bus stop, two men in the sidewalk, not 25 years old but with ancient eyes: one spits paan*, the other stares back at me. His friend looks away. They must think I’m waiting for a bus-
Life’s a bus, my Dad would say in his earlier years.
He couldn’t speak much before he went. Illness did that to him. I wish he’d stayed, but you don’t get to order these things. The 25 year olds in the pavement would understand that. Life’s not a bus Dad, its an earth in orbit going on and on. Seasons change, you and I in the beach, you laughing at me falling off the cycle, I was a hopeless learner. You were Unshakeable, you never told me I couldn’t do something if I wanted to. You never lost courage, ’twas seasons that went to winter around you. It got in you almost, like a chill season but inside you were the same person. You and I cannot really change even if I’m quieter these days of rising price, oh fixing salads with no onion, he-he what’d Gran have done with the onion mini-famine we have here? She’d grow her own veggies..
no dad its no bus: we are sitters, walkers, standing leaving arriving. Life is beautiful Dad, you didn’t want to go, who wants to die except my neighbour Mr.Alvarez and his Haiku poems on graves and sweet dying, he reads it out, smacks it out like it is candy. At Christmas Mr. Alvarez misses his two daughters in Kuala Lumpur and Greece, then he wants to hang low and not talk to his round faced wife who will not talk either. Please dear God, keep them from visiting this us this Christmas, I cannot answer questions about new lights, I like the ones we have, a few don’t work here and there but they are milestones of things we did and did not do. Alvarez has to deck his roof with lights to outshine Mars. He says so, that’s how I know. I like my life next to jacaranda trees with squirrel, our muted traffic snarls and manger clay angels with chipped nose and yes, Joseph’s (human father of Jesus) miniature clay head fallen off last Christmas: need to cello tape him back on.
At home we finish a chinese lunch, Kitsy our teenager enjoys playing chef. Jeff my husband is at a river in his easel, he paints rivers, no surprise. He’s from hilly river running Coorg district south of India. Dia and Joh are a few kms away getting the sun. No more seizures for Joh hopefully, but the aggressive side effects of his meds have us running circles to work his chi & chu, or whatever energies are called. Li my sis called last night, she doesn’t feel like Christmas with Dad and Ma gone, she cannot decorate for carolers, her knee hurts. How are you Ray? Just back from a village visit with her carol crew, Li is a village doc. She reminds me of Dad, and Ma in bits. Thel, eldest sis is like her own self + added fizz over the years. Me I’m growing more like my kids, picking their vocabulary and shoulder shrug. Rolling of eyes in particular is liberating but on my generation it looks rude; they get away with it. We hang in together, Haha like parked lampposts and bench, and tree. In season and out.
This Bench. It is park furniture. All the stories and footprints and winters that have gone by haven’t moved it. It is untransformed, though a little worn, yes?
Christmas isn’t the nicest time for those who have lost a loved one, or lost heart; for those feel alone it is easily a time of more than they can bear. I’m thinking about the quality of not being moved. I’m thinking of that Lamp post, the Tree and Bench all there like friends.
I guess December is that time we could spin stories out of threadbare sack cloth but I’m feeling the right to not be moved and it’s a heart strengthening feeling.
I’m thinking on something I read about: that Unshakeable Kingdom we all have for the asking; that secret place deep inside where the Love of God stands by us like a Light in a storm. That storm ravaged place where we’re parked? It can feel cold and uninviting, or it can create whole new perspective: Strength that waits out the winter. I’m the bench, the lamppost, the trees; sometimes I’m the snow…
*paan- betel leaf.
There is a tide turning in your life,
a season returning,
a plot softened by the unexpected
This is time to weep release,
dance healing, restore
A time to take
stake claim make returns on what you never thought remembered your name
This is that time,
it comes by once in a few ways,
crumbs of yesterday.
This is that time, a tide turning,
a season a harvest, waiting
So my sis sends me pics from her trip and this one travels in where my core is: Koala bear burrowing in shade, in foliage, feeding on what Koala knows best,
I’ve wondered why my Creator structured the universe among this many species, and what the dialogue between us all is besides the incredible facts of circles of life, food chains…
I’m fascinated at how Nature impacts my mood, my choices,
Ah times in childhood (and later), with blue crab and one particular jungle monkey, oh once a scruffy headed baby raven cawing his head off for breakfast. Yep! These have moved me more than earth revolutes can.
I have history with sand dunes, how they’ve moved me (nah, shoved at me), literally and otherwise(haven’t you slid down a dune, ever?)
Then there was Rover our fourlegged Priest of hearts: this canine knew how to talk. Once he said the word, ‘Mom’. I turned around slowly and he winked one amber eye at me.
When Rover left our planet for where Goodly Paws go, ( wasn’t at our home at that time), he visited in a dream where he slipped out of collar, his black black fur shining with silver edges.
Ach. I still ache for his friendship but that dream was an exotic thing. I don’t care what everyone’s saying; dogs do have soul. They growl at unseen spiders snuck in where we can’t see, they have these Frequency-Ears, they see stuff we don’t….onetime at a farmhouse he saw a deadly scorpion through wall… sniffed it out maybe,
I miss him with all my heart especially days like these when the Uncertain sits square in my eye and there are no quick answers for things that will take their course, like the illness of a young child, like setbacks that make friends and some closer ones sweet-talk away basic courtesies.
What Remedy ever exists for Humanity that forgets or ignores another because they are of no advantage; what cure for humans stooped low enough to desecrate the very purpose for which humankind were created? We become liars and connivers, we spread curdled words like butter on waiting bread and we lay it thick. All to draw fences between people: walls, barbed wire, little glass bit in walls. This isn’t news to any of us, but when it hits, it swings low. Especially if you don’t see it coming.
So Koala here snuggling, is my heart burrowing in the shade of Comfort few humans can tender. Maybe my Core is a Koala. I love the word Core: that invisible place deep there that tells me how I am at 3am,4pm,midnight.
One morning last year, I was alone a few hours at home, worrying my teeth out at how our youngest and blind, was to get through life. Eyes shut tight I told God if He cared He best give me a sign,
when I opened my eyes there it was staring me in the face, its black beady eyes twinkling through grey fur:
the squirrel took tiny steps into living room, then turned left into our bedroom. For the next 15 minutes nothing could’ve convinced me this wasn’t a supernatural event. Nothing. The room shone with my same old Indian sun, everything was gold tinted, even my dark thoughts.
Today I didn’t see how we were going to all recover from Joh’s anti-seizure meds* that have caused such a riot in all our lives – side effects of meds.
Is there any Light end of this tunnel? Yes, a few infact! All because dear Sis sent pic of Koala? Does Koala even know they’re in a blog post in another continent, leave alone that they’re cause for lights at end of tunnel?
Maybe that’s why God made all His species. Maybe every single creature was made to bless a certain of the other species, a type of Food chain, a Comfort Chain. What comfort is a mosquito? Maybe it is, to a particular shrub. We will never know somethings in this life, but some mysteries are there for all of us to see.
as I was crouching here over this post, our 18 year old (born blind and recovering from meds* now) Joh gave me a surprise gentle hug.
The past two months there’s been unreal aggression, a certain violence, uncertain days, nights of wondering when and how all this would/ could ever sort. Sure it can, it will, but the human core has a way of sitting down sometimes and not wanting to try getting up.
Today is different.
Something in me wants to unfurl and look up at the sun. There’s a quietened centre within that’s willing to give my own peace a chance. I have the power to make or break that peace,
oh yes it sure passes human understanding, it’s not from within. The only thing I could’ve cooked up today was a temper of tears. There’s kazillion words in my throat but must stop for now,
if you’ve read this far thankyou so much. If not, you’re still part of that Comfort Chain, maybe a bigger part than you know.
“I love you,” He said it like it were oceans