Love Is Long (Five Minutes With the Word Prompt LONG)

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It was past midnight when he found me, cold and frustrated, by the side of the road. He was from Iran. The minister of health. His wife? A chemical engineer. Both of them tricked. His heart-broken by children who do not love well. His money stolen. After awhile he shut off the meter, would not take my money. When I got out of the car I said,
“I will be praying for you peace”. I have been. I am. There are times when loving well lays itself before you. You know exactly what love is. Sometimes being heard and being loved are so close to the same thing that most of us cannot tell the difference.

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A man I work with died this fall. I liked him very much. He was one of the sly and quiet empire un-settlers. He planted rogue gardens that went against master plans. He helped me collect cigarette butts to make a display about second-hand smoke because he hated what cigarettes did to people. He had tried to quit for years…cancer took him in the end.

I want to be like him in the ways he steadily and quietly did what was right for people, despite what the bureaucracy would suggest. Despite his own best intentions and worst outcomes. Let it be so in me. Most of the time, loving people means our own weakness is publicized, there is no hiding flaws if we are loving with all of ourselves.

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It is funny to me, the ease with which we speak about love, describe it like it is a simple thing, like we understand it at all.

What is love? The racing heart? The sweaty palms? The lust and the hunger? The sticky sweet voice? The hugs on your approach?

No. if mothering has taught me anything it is that I love the same with the stern voice as I do with a whispered I love you.

Love is in the patience. Love is not rushing a heart that just needs to catch up. Love is not looking around you, past you, through you. Love is in the waiting for you no matter how long it takes you to approach, how far off the prodigal might be. Love sits at the bedside of the dying, of those who don’t get better- are never healed.

Love is kind. It does not speak in acid tones but in encouragement. Love does not leave the other alone in the pain, love sits in the middle of it, moves in, digs in stiletto heels.

Love is not in the envious, the boasting, the pride. Love does not make you feel “less than” in its presence. It learns the art of confession, of apology. Love is not demonstrated by the insecure, love cannot exist when we are trying to prove ourselves.

Love is not in the push for self, or any agenda. Love flexes and moves,shapes itself around you. Love is in the way it forces itself into the jagged cracks, the broken pieces.

A heart can spin like a bottle but still end up pointing the right way and you prayed for this…but then forgot. Life is tedious in its unfolding and we don’t have the patience for a plan that looks more like eternity then a lifetime. Because Gods heart beats with the rhythm of forever while we force the beat of dying flesh. Because love…sometimes…means we just keep showing up, bringing all of ourselves. Love is long.

OH HI THERE! Joining with the five minute free write community…just to get the words flowing again!

First Days: E in Grade 1

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An interview with Emily on the first day of grade ONE

My favorite food is: “PASTA and CANDY! (and I think you can guess that one)”

My favorite colour: “Blue and pink”

My favorite toy: “I don’t have one”.

My favorite TV Show: “Barbies Dream House and other than that my second favourite is Garfield”.

My favorite movie: “Frozen”

My favorite thing to do outside: “Relax in the hot tub”

My best friend: “I have lots of different ones but not one. Jaida, Zaire, Leah and cousin Meg”

The coolest person in the world is: “Daddy and Mommy and Owen”

My favorite sport is: “Mini golf and soccer”

My favorite animal: “tigers and cats and dogs’

My favorite thing to do with daddy: “Going on daddy daughter dates. And go to Scandia and get slushies”

My favorite thing to do with mommy: “”Girl time”

Favorite place to go: “Energyplex and our house”

When I grow up I want to be: “Dog trainer”

My favorite snack is: “Apple chips and pickles”

I LOVE to…”PLAY”

My favourite thing about me is…”I’m FUNNY”

This year I want to…”I want to learn about Ears”

 

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The Least I Can Do

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I am certain,

Someday when I rock a chair with my weathered skin, my worn out body,

that I will rock to the rhythm of these days.

That old chair, will click with the memories of bare feet on these plank floors,

the steady and predicted tick of irrigation running,

the anticipated sun on their eyelids as it rises over us,

the ebb and flow of the waves on all the lakes we have sat beside this summer.

All these memories will rock me to sleep, help me keep the peace.

But there is something else in me too;

I am terrified of these luxurious days.

In a world where bombs fall on schools and hemorrhagic fevers rage;

Where planes just fall from the sky and vanish,

is it still okay to spend an entire afternoon searching for the perfect swimming hole?

Am I part robot, all callous, if I can’t read another article about Syria but instead

read a poem by Wendell Berry as the sun rises, Annie Dillard as the sun sets?

I don’t know.

I make an offering of the huckleberries we picked.

A ceremony of the found fruits I hold and wash.

I celebrate the things that seem whole in a world so dreadfully broken.

Each one is a prayer for my friends in the midst of the rage.

To begin, I make all the peace I can.

 

Beauty Hunters

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There were people out in the woods the other day. They were calling a name. That happens out here, dogs take themselves for a walk sometimes, they love to accompany the deer, join a gang of rogue mutts. This was different though, there was an urgency about the call, the name was “Lawson”. Did a child wander out into my woods? I got dressed, headed out in the direction of the voices but by the time I arrived, all was quiet. I could not find a way to help.

Last night a fire truck went by. You cannot know how many coyotes are at your door until that happens. It seemed like every tree turned into a coyote, the whole forest howled.

It smells like smoke today. I keep checking the horizon for licking flames. The breeze seems pregnant with catastrophe. It is hard to read the news, I just can’t absorb anymore of it.

It is an act of will to bring that gut feeling into submission. To focus on helping and healing and hope. To find a way to join with the light bringers and hope mongers and grace addicts. Today I choose to join them. Today, see me beauty hunting, watching the sun set in all red and calling it beautiful. See me kneeling in prayer, with assurance of things hoped for. See me, in the nitty gritty of it all still at peace.

(Join me in a beauty hunt today? Find the helpers, the healers, the beauty and the hope. Really notice it. Really see it. #beautyhunt)

Five Minute Friday: Exhale

Beauty and Grace

Five Minutes on the prompt “Exhale”

I am staring at the pines today. The tall lodgepoll, though the trees are not old here. Nothing more then 30 years I would guess. They reach straight up, like skinny boys at age 15 not yet filled up in the shoulders, like deflated balloons. The wind blows here at the top of Swithback Mountain and the trees lean to one side or the other, spun, drunk on mountain air.

I’ve been sitting on the porch each morning, returning each evening. I know the pattern of the squirrels, the birds, what time my dog calls it a night and retreats to the dog house. I’ve been writing too and feel my words rushing back like a rising river ready to breach the banks.

I’ve shut down social media on my phone…removed all of it (save instagram of course…I’ve got a…thing).

I can feel my lungs expanding too. Breath reaching all the way to the bottom lobes, exhaling in triumph the old must air. I’ve been holding onto it, I did not even know, but I think the muse just replaced the must.

It is the sound of wind in trees, Frazey Ford, the tick of irrigation, the fountain. It feels like a slower pace, lazy mornings, an absense of obligation. It is, each morning, asking what is new? What is new? How can I partake.  It is the ever changing response, the way I learn to listen, breathe.

 

(oh Hiiiiiiii Lisa-Jo and Co…been missing you all!)

15 years

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Tonight the clouds burst even though the sun was still shining. The thunder rolled in, as if from behind a tree. There was no ominous cloud on the horizon, no warning. The dogs cowered as the earth shook, the lightning struck not far off.

The rainbow it produced hung heavy above the roof of our house threatening to cave the whole thing in, so dense the weight of the colours. They gushed out onto the forest floor, those colours, the grass, the trees all covered in it. Vibrant green. The rainbow spilled itself crimson onto the tiger lily, the indigo onto the lupins. The clouds fell too, hillsides of daisies seemed to erupt and spread. The hummingbird is thrilled with the turn, sucks at the blood of the pink bleeding heart on our porch. The robin plucks at the worms the lightning drove to the surface. The birds resume their shower songs.

Us too. The oppression, the flashing lights. Then, somehow it ends, we move through to clear blue, new life, astounding colour as we perpetually fall in and back out of love. That rainbow, my promise too. You can have this bleeding heart.