Seek shelter from the rain that freezes all it touches— remain undercover, indoors, cozy by a blazing fire. Admire from afar the crystalizing wood-scape.
A layer of ice forms, clings enwraps every unprotected thing and if I open up this window after a blast of winter chill will I hear the birds sing darting to and fro the feeders before flitting back to safety in the cedars?
“ Look up at the sky and see God in a cloud” David Lehman
Empty yourself and gaze in rapture heavenward contemplate a moment or two as the sun peeks coming out from between the cumulonimbus.
An indistinct silhouette, radiant, viewed in a singular photograph, halo’d by sunlight— a figure appears poised above the planet Earth, striking through a fracture in the clouds. Arms open in blessing or welcome.
Could it be a reflection from a prior millennium— Christ in ascension over the hills of Bethany disciples’ faces raised in apparent awe? Or maybe a premonition of prophecy, the long hoped for return in His full Majesty? Oh, let His Kingdom Come!
Possibly, anyone’s guess, a trick of shadows, a figment of someone’s fertile imagination? The image shared hand to hand, scanned into media. Or could it be an intimation of what will be? Envision Faith— not to be spurned the blessed Hope. One day yes, all, everyone, will see together His glory explode from the firmament and all life, belief confirmed in Him.
“Why are you standing here staring into the heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go.” Acts 1:11 NIV
“The fragrant air of Paradise returns the aged to their youth.”
Skip like a child down the gold paved streets. Wave and smile, laugh with joy to everyone you meet. All your long-departed family and friends you had hoped and longed to see again.
Grab hands, “ring around the rosy” with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, children you wished you had known to the tune “Holy, Holy, Holy” all the same: ageless, merry.
Juggle fruit from the tree of Life. Toss it back and forth: saint to saint. No complaint if one drops on a toe or a poor throw lands another in the River pouring from the Throne.
No one here will ever be alone. No one neglected, forlorn no tears to cry or cheeks to dry no one deaf or blind or disabled. No limping, no joints to creak. Alive and lively with God Almighty A never ending streak of glory, Leap for Joy!
Who made this quilt, each delicate stitch, flowers abloom in feed-sack prints? The answer lies buried somewhere: my mothers’s beloved aunt, a grandmother or a great aunt, great-grandmother. No one alive who knows or can remember.
I slept snugged up under it all my childhood years. Pulled it up below my chin, all tucked in from the winter chills. Washed and dried time after time, hung outside on an old clothesline, kissed by the sun and a gentle wind. No thought then of long term preservation. Worn and threadbare, edges and binding unraveled. The batting leaking through the faded petals.
The quilt followed me everywhere— each move from house to house, town to town never misplaced—never lost. no longer in use, I refuse to toss it out as so much rags: Someone’s loving care, someone’s industrious fingers, their hours of endless labor linger freely bestowed to beautify, comfort a life.
What to do with it now? this battered, tattered quilt? Should I cut out and frame a remnant or two? Form a collage bouquet in photographs? Keep it entire as a reminder of the application of love? Or shall I make a small pillow out of it with ruffled lace upon which I will lay my face and dream I am a child, peaceful in its embrace.
“The heart of Jesus beats in every prayer” Malcom Guite
I am aware of a pulse, fast now slow— it runs erratic with my thoughts. If I place my fingers on a certain wrist somewhere close to the scars— Will I feel there a steady rhythm calming my own in every whispered prayer?
A conclave of cardinals, congregate in a wild cherry tree barren in the winter. They are teased by chickadees who see everything in black and white. Tufted titmice feast on the last dried berries in the bushes below not yet covered with an early morning snow.
The juncos in solemn grey habits pose like nuns— search the grounds for escaped crumbs: a sunflower seed dropped by a marauding squirrel marks their attention. Whatever escapes from the Master’s table is free for all to partake. The mourning doves coo their concordance. In gratitude for whoever provides this feast.