so beautiful and terrible,
so full of horror and sunsets,
of crushing sadness,
kissable babies toes,
and mellow evening skies through the treetops.
This world of ours,
pulsing with life,
yet ever falling into death.
What is is life, Lord, without you,
who holds all things in being,
from inexpressible richness
to indescribable pain,
from grandmother’s smiles
You stretch our caterpillar spirits,
–too often content
to curl up comfortably at home
in our protective layer of fur–
until we become as expansive as butterflies,
wings dancing across the entire sky,
exposed to the sun and wind and starlight,
and intimately close to you–
face to face,
They look like a bowl of dried bones,
cold and lifeless–
a tragic ode to time lost
and utterly incapable of change–
but look more closely!
Within their crinkled-shut hearts,
clenched in the knuckles of their bony hands,
are tiny gems
bursting with possibility!
When the sun’s warm gaze melts
the unfeeling snow
into lovely spring water,
blooms will unfurl
from these dusty bones.
After winter’s grimness,
we’ll see the world in colour again,
and the flowers will laugh
that we thought them dead.
I wish I knew how to grow
with the single-minded purpose of flowers.
Up, up and ever increasing in beauty,
focused on the source of light and
undistracted by the tangle and clutter
of weeds and other plants nearby.
Neither thorns nor thistles
causing them to pause in self-doubt,
or think their mission would be better
if they were holding up
the heavy golden head of some other stem–
richness enough to be oneself.
I grow my garden
wild and free
I do not expect
it bow to me
My joy it is
to watch it bloom
Nor do I wish
its beauty to consume
to cut and cull
no longer in the wind and sun
to dance and curve
Not for me it is
to choose the day
nor the colour it shall bloom
So many shades of beauty
wild and free
Though I was the one
to plant the seeds
my garden does not belong to me
The faces of old friends
grow dearer with each passing year
Every wrinkle a trace of their joy
a reminder of the fragility of life
Precious and dear
the ones we love
Each grey hair adds to their beauty
for time adds to the treasure house of memories
we share with them–
they are ever more familiar
Beautiful the face of a mother,
who suffers and who loves,
endlessly giving her all,
her very self, day and night.
Beautiful the face of a father,
whose word of love has become flesh,
and brought him joy,
and the necessity to serve,
Beautiful the hearts of husband and wife,
who give up pieces of themselves,
and let them to walk around outside their bodies,
tugging on their heartstrings
until they break.
Beautiful the sorrow of those who trust in God,
while they ache inside and long for the gift
that was briefly theirs,
but has flown to Heaven.
Beautiful the “Amen’s” that cost us the most,
the letting go,
the giving up what we only loved,
but never owned.
Beautiful the hearts that don’t lose faith,
when all seems cold and incomprehensible.
Beautiful the love that is stronger than death,
that stretches into eternity,
and bursts into God’s light with joyous triumph
on that day of reunion
which is to come.
Which mystery is greater?
That the eternal, ineffable God,
the uncreated source of all being,
created us and gave us the gift of life,
or that he chose to become small enough to fit
on a woman’s lap
in order to come share our life?
Oh, Woman, what a great mystery you are,
sharing in the work of God!
Spring is finally here.
The toddler and I are equally happy
digging in the garden
with dirt under our fingernails
and warm sunshine in our hair.
Out in the garden,
I can almost forget my messy house
–rooms cluttered with kids’ clothes and toys–
out here where dirt means not disorder,
but openness to growth
and getting messy is a necessary step
on the path to beauty.