About celia

I write because I love the windows created by words. I write as a way to think, to share, to connect. I write to test ideas and to clear my mind. I write in response to the small "i am" that echoes the greater "I AM."

a bit of help

a path in the woods

I sit on a fallen tree trunk, which lies across the entrance to the path into the woods which flank the meadow. The day is bright and crisp and carries the cool promise of coming fall. It is a pleasant morning. Just rousing itself in the songs of the birds and in the rustle of leaves. The day stretches itself and yawns in the early breeze.

I’d like to sit and glean the tiny bit of warmth from the sunshine of the morning but my work calls to me from inside the woods. I stretch and, reluctantly, looking back toward the meadow, I prepare to start down the path.

As I rise, it is as if the branches of each tree reach out to grab me for the task they hold. They are all competing demands for action and for attention. I am taken aback by the way the pleasant morning has now become a barrage. Instead of stepping forward, I a compelled to step back and I almost stumble as I fall back upon the log. My projects greet me like a slap in the face, though individually they are things I really want to do.

Too much, continually too much, it is a burden. It saps the energy I brought to the morning. Each time I think I have begun to get a handle on my tasks, I turn and find them grasping me instead. This is not the abundant life, this is the life of — of what? I want to say over-abundance, because it seems to fit the flow of the sentence… yet I don’t feel rich, I feel robbed – of all energy and resolve, of all hope of quality in my endeavors. Too much leaves not enough….not enough of me.

A few desperate tears catch the corner of my eye and burn my cheek. I look at my life and see myself trying to tape dried fruit on barren branches.

I need a moment’s rest, and yet, even at the start of the day, I am exhausted. When I push away the burdens, they only scream at me louder on my return. Their voices echo even in my moments of attempted rest. Yet I cannot abandon them. They are obligations that I have owned, that I have taken on with my friends, and if I put them down, I make the burdens of my friends that much greater.

The priorities that I face now, I have taken on months ago, when my calendar looked empty and the breath of their urgency seemed far away. Now they breathe down my neck and sap my strength, leaving me with discouragement as an additional load to carry through my day.

“Help me,” I whisper. “Help me carry the burden of my day. Help me move this heap of effort forward. Help me gather the sticks of a thousand chores and carry them in my two arms one more day’s journey down the path.” I ask the impossible. I might as well ask for another set of arms to do my work.

Then beside me stands a little man, a Narnian dwarf not any taller than myself, but obviously strong and wiry, with a full beard and kind eyes. He nods his head and waits. I look up, look around me, unsure of what I should do. The dwarf smiles and touches me on the shoulder. “I am here to help you,” he says. “I have come come to provide that extra set of arms you asked him for.”

“How can you help?” I ask. “What among my load can you carry? They are chores which I have taken up and which require my effort.”

“There are some burdens I am very able to help with,” he says. “You must indeed carry your daily tasks, but I will carry other burdens. I can take your fear, your discouragement, and your frantic desperation. I will bring along the liquid joy of humor to strengthen you as we walk, and I will keep you company. Draw from my strength and the strength of those around you. We will make it through today. That much we can do.”

I start to rise, but with one small gesture, he bids me wait just one more moment. “Don’t forget your manna,” he says, and pulls out of his pocket a napkin which holds two pieces of the smooth, sweet bread. He spreads it on the ground and offers a brief prayer. We each take a loaf and eat. The bread, the company and the ceremony give me strength.

As we we turn to leave, he begins to hum a brisk walking tune. It cheers us on our way as we step over the log and begin the journey of the day. The dwarf smiles at me. I smile at him and I can actually reach to respond  to the branches which dip to demand my actions.

Today. We can do today.

 

[photo by benefit of hindsight per cc 2.0]

There are no words …

quiet wordless beauty.jpg

There are times when words won’t do.
In the face of great beauty or great loss,
Words show their frailty,
Their ragged edges fraying in the wind.

We clasp our hands across our mouths
When we encounter horror.
Or wonder.
It is all too big for words; for us.

So, it should not be a surprise
When we discover
That no words can capture God.
(A turn of phrase that makes it doubly clear.)

Words are a wonderful gift,
Helping us scoop meaning from the soup of life,
But they are not enough, not enough, to hold it all.

And so, when words fail,
I hope to stop the struggle to find them,
And, instead, let myself be found,
Snuggled worldessly within your arms.

 

[photo by Wade Brooks per cc 2.0]

a bit of praise

moon behind a treeI give you praise today
For what you have done,
For what you will do
Indeed, for what you are doing.

I give you laughing, joyful, giddy praise.
I give you a deep and grateful sigh.
I give you a tear of relief.

For your life within me is life
And my life within you is grace.

The hope I hold tentatively, hopefully
In the deepest corners of my heart
You hold with me, as you fill even those dark corners
With an assurance that moves from hope to promise.

It is that deep assurance
That gives me strength to move
Out of my corners and into this day.

When I fall down, when I get up,
You are there.

the life of a leaf

fall leaves in MaineGreen leaves spend their whole lives
Nurturing the tree they call home
And sending vital oxygen into the world.
In the fall, when they retire,
They turn their souls to beauty –
Revealing gifts of color that had been hidden
Under the hard-working chlorophyl.

There is beauty in the bud.
There is beauty in the green.
There is beauty in the orange and yellow that follows.

I am rejoicing in each new turn of beauty,
In the leaves, in my friends, in myself.

[photo is my own]

God, herself

When you remember
That whatever you do to others
You do to God, herself,
You see an even deeper reality to
“MeToo.”

Refusing to listen to words of truth
Is a refusal to listen to God
And a denial of the very heart of the relationship
That holds the world together.

Nevertheless, She persisted.

[photo by John Mavroudis from the cover of Time Magazine, 10/18]
[My gratitude to joekay617 for this reminder]