Of Caterpillars and Hope…

Tiny Teddy-bear Caterpillar

Our first “teddy-bear caterpillar” sighting of the year. He was crossing our gravel road when my sister and I stopped to pet him, and he curled up into himself — protecting his softness from the harsh unknowns of the world. He was gently carried to a place of green far off the road, and we continued our evening walk.

Today, I found myself envying this tiny one’s ability to freeze and bring himself a sense of safety — in his little world everything stopped — there was time to just be still. I, too, feel like curling up for a period of rest — I find myself unable to think, unable to function well, unable to ponder this journey. I am tired…

It’s a night to yearn for peace rather than marvel at it… My eyes burn with the build up of fatigue and emotion from this past summer. A couple days ago we had to evacuate since the state park I grew up hiking to from home became the site of a wildfire… Thankfully the winds pushed it the opposite direction from my childhood home, and we had firefighters from districts all over the state as well as civilian volunteers from the area, come to conquer the flames. They won. We survived our evacuation adventure – five of us at my other sister’s place, with five cats (and two fish!) – no one really slept. It was so wonderful to return home safely — and we’re all so grateful! Not everyone was able to return to their home safe and sound…

Tonight I am weighing the balance of my losses this summer alongside all the ways Light shines in my world — all the Goodness that simply is… Life is hard… but it is good. There is Hope. Tonight I will sleep — and tomorrow I will hope again.

Veni, Vidi, Amavi.

It’s all Grace.


Twilight and Evening Song…

Twilit sky and evening cricket chorus…

Darkness is falling earlier and earlier in my corner of the globe.

My sister and I are now consistently sharing our evening walks with the songs of the crickets and the erratic flight of bats. Tonight, the evening breeze was gentle…. playing with our clothes and brushing our cheeks — it still carries the scent of summer’s-end blended with the river — even as it’s now bearing the first falling leaves, brown and crisp… Autumn is arriving soon, and already the trees are preparing to prepare for the coming winter. 

There is something healing in these evening walks — and yet, they are just natural occurrences — just two “bookend” sisters , the oldest and the youngest 13-years apart — walking a road they’ve know their entire lives. We visit a neighbor’s goats — feeding them if we have anything to share, even if that means laughing like schoolgirls as we try to reach apples on a nearby tree, or picking the giant blackberries in the bushes along the road. I am in my 40s but might as well be in my early teens on these evenings. :) The goats think we are there just to bring them treats, and object loudly if we happen to pass by with empty arms…
We point out rabbits and  instinctively duck if the bats swoop too close…The chorus of crickets waxes and wanes as we walk along, passing one group and moving on to the next — the river a constant presence just behind their tall-grass homes under the stand of old trees that border its cliffside-banks. The air is heavy with the fragrance of home…

My childhood and youth are everywhere here. After what seems like decades of chaos — my soul feels like it is standing on solid ground… I remember myself — my voice, my heart — pieces of me that only made their presence known when working in hospice, or stolen moments with written words in this little corner. Words here can bring ridicule from others, but they carry my voice in all its fullness… they are a window into who I am and where I’ve been. Perhaps they will weave for me their own healing spell to remind me of my soul-self after all this…

And perhaps these evening twilit walks are my peace-potion.


#twiliteveningsongwalks
#comingautumn
#peacewalk

Sonnets and Sunshine…

KitKat and Little-Bit sharing a patch of sun

Summer term began today – conveniently on the first day of Summer.

This term I gave myself a treat —

Shakespeare and a piano class — though I’m not sure how we’ll do the piano class online. Still, learning a bit more about making music on the instrument I play every weekend for the choir can only be a positive thing. And Shakespeare — well that’s purely for me. The comfort of an old friend in the guise of a college class during a difficult time… I remember so vividly when I met him when I was six or seven — it was “The Flying Karamazov Brothers – The Comedy of Errors” — I thought the utter confusion caused by the two pairs of twins was hilarious. It still makes me smile thinking about it. :) (And it’s still my favorite.)

I should pick up Jane Eyre for a bit of comfort reading as well. Though I’ll probably be steeped in Shakespeare during any free-reading time this term. (Not that I mind. :) ) Still, a nice, cozy afternoon with Jane could be just what the doctor ordered… and I have such a lovely copy too — a beautiful little hardback that fits right in the palm of my hand. Second-sister would agree that Jane could be the perfect comfort read right now.

We are recovering from covid… still feeling the fatigue, but hopefully that will pass soon. The sunshine has been glorious for the past few days, and that has really helped. I know that part of this heaviness is just being plain heart-sick… Sometimes the only way from point A to point B is straight on through a valley. There’s a reason “it was not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18) — life is harder without a partner — harder when there’s no one around the corner who has your back.

But —

There are still sonnets and sunshine…

And warm cats snuggled beside me…

There’s sunlit waves and sunlit leaves…

Summer is here — and I am home.

Somehow, it’s all Grace.