©photo credit westcoastwoman
“The only ones awake at 3:00 a.m. are the lonely and the loved.”
3 a.m. Sentence(s)
3 a.m. Sentence(s)
As if in reply
to an unformed question
illusion of secure
Life nursing life
Foundations on shifting sand
no safe haven
no inland retreat
New vision. New rules.
Co-operators are standing by,
“Woof, Woof, wanna play?”
Hiraeth is a Welsh word that perfectly describes my yearning for the emotions I experienced around Christmases long past. I am not alone in my ‘hiraeth’, without prompting I hear the same yearning in the voices of people I meet on the street this time of year.
It is an ambiguous loss for a season that arrives each year without fail, earlier and earlier with less and less of what my heart is longing for.
I was decorating the tree last night when I came across ‘Eagle with Santa hat’ and as I placed him on the tree it brought to mind an incident last summer that involved two mismatched birds. Their uneasy coexistence had caught my attention days earlier and I photographed them as they perched side by side in the pond in front of the house.
The Eagle is one of a pair whose nest can be seen from the house. Over the last ten years, I watched them raise their young, watched when despite all their careful tending, guarding and feeding they occasionally ‘lost’ one of the young eaglets before it could fledge. One year both eaglets were killed in the nest by a Golden Eagle and one of the pair was badly injured in the attempt to fend off the attack.
Enter the Crow……. the Scavenger and the Predator, these two are not ‘birds of a feather’ but with wonder and curiosity I watched them ‘flock together’. The Crow mercilessly dive bombs the Eagle from above when he is perched in the nesting tree but other than the occasional glance upward the Eagle seems unaffected by this constant annoyance.
Other than that, Eagle and Crow coexist peacefully enough, although the Eagle could easily do away with him with one movement of his powerful beak, he does not. The Crow always ensures he is above the talons that could make short work of him. There is a form of mutual respect between the two.
Perhaps that is what I’m feeling as I experience this homesickness for ephemeral memories of Christmas past. It is the slow erosion of mutual respect that is starting to permeate many parts of our human society. As a species, we appear to be on the verge of entering uncharted waters on many levels.
I have experienced a few ‘Christmas moments’ this year and as I look at the photograph below I realize that is probably what I am longing for. It is the fleeting moments of moving side by side with other human beings. It is the bravery it takes to spread our wings without knowing what the future will bring, and the trust that it will hold us.
Mostly I feel it is sharing and respecting this exquisite little blue planet that we find ourselves on at this moment in time. Instead of feeling sadness for a “home that maybe never was” I will go forward this year with gratitude for ‘what is’ and for this beautiful home that we all share.
Peace on Earth
Just this tonight, while I wait for the stars ………
a poem by Joyce Rupp
Old Maps No Longer Work
I keep pulling it out –
the old map of my inner path
I squint closely at it,
trying to see some hidden road
that maybe I’ve missed,
but there’s nothing there now
except some well travelled paths.
they have seen my footsteps often,
held my laughter, caught my tears.
I keep going over the old map
but now the roads lead nowhere,
a meaningless wilderness
where life is dull and futile.
“toss away the old map,” she says
“you must be kidding!” I reply.
she looks at me with Sarah eyes
and repeats “toss it away.
It’s of no use where you’re going.”
“I have to have a map!” I cry,
“even if it takes me nowhere.
I can’t be without direction,”
“but you are without direction,”
she says, “so why not let go, be free?”
so there I am – tossing away the old map,
sadly fearfully, putting it behind me.
“whatever will I do?” wails my security
“trust me” says my midlife soul.
no map, no specific directions,
no “this way ahead” or “take a left”.
how will l know where to go?
how will I find my way? no map!
but then my midlife soul whispers
“there was a time before maps
when pilgrims travelled by the stars.”
It is time for the pilgrim in me
to travel in the dark,
to learn to read the stars
that shine in my soul.
I will walk deeper
into the dark of my night.
I will wait for the stars.
trust their guidance.
and let their light be enough for me.
by Joyce Rupp
“For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself.
From within, I couldn’t decide what to do.
Unable to see I heard my name being called.
Then I walked outside.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the door sill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.”
One year ago today I had little sleep and was up early preparing the house for a “gathering”. This was to be no ordinary gathering although there would be arrivals and departures and a champagne toast.
This clear, crisp October morning was the day our mutual friend Georgia had decided to take her step across the door sill where the “two worlds touch” and we would be there to see her to the door. It was a day that will stay with me forever and allowed me to understand on a deep level what it really means to stay awake in my life.
It also brought me to a place of wondering about Courage, and just what that is in our lives. It sometimes takes Courage just to get through the day when faced with big changes or obstacles in our lives. Many people when asked about their acts of Courage reply that they just did what had to be done. Is it that simple and that complicated? Seeing what needs to be done in the moment and stepping forward and doing it.
Georgia saw what she felt needed to be done and despite a body that was failing and various levels of support for her decision she made her way with Courage and determination towards that place where the “two worlds touch”. She invited me on that journey months earlier and with a Courage that she saw in me and I did not know I was capable of, she and I walked forward together and made arrangements for the “gathering”.
Words were spoken, glasses raised and four people held Georgia’s hands as she stepped across the door sill aided by a doctor who was more of a ministering angel, on to her “next great adventure”. In the Grace of her departure she taught me about Courage in a way I had never experienced before and thank her to this day for the honour of her companionship and for teaching me the true meaning of the word.
Don’t Go Back to Sleep…….