You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘patience’ tag.

At 7:30 A. M., it was difficult waking from this celebratory dream:

I was initially alone, walking the country roads. Sunshine emboldened the trees, shrubs, meadows, even the dusty road curving ahead of me. After I turned the next bend, faint strains of guitars, rhythmic instruments, songs in all languages met me; the closer I got, the more distinct the strains. Then, a tall colorful character, dressed in scarlets and feathers blew a reed pipe, the breezes swirling the decorative ribbons attached to his wrists. Behind him, laughing children skipped and hopped making merry. As he approached other children sitting in the middle of the road, he handed them an instrument from his sack and invited them to join their celebration—a tambourine fell into mine and I began dancing with the others. 

At length the celebratory dance concluded, with promises to return next year. My heart felt heavy.

It was a gift to remember this dream, given the racing effects of my nightly “Cocktail”: small amounts of liquid morphine to help with breathing and lorazepam, with sleep. For months, mornings have been a tumble of splintered dreams that quickly fade, only leaving a brief residue of feelings.

In this dream, I am ecstatic. The appearance of a tall colorful character, likely Creator God in disguise, seemed intent upon actualizing everyone’s birthright before making their transition. Conceivably, the laughing children have already attained theirs.

But sadness concludes the dream

Still another year must pass before I’m permitted to celebrate another celebration with the tall colorful character, dressed in scarlets and feathers—Perhaps, referencing my own demise, burdened by more practice of my tambourine.

But this glance into my psyche gives me hope. I’ll know where to find Him.

Outside my study window, a robin alighted upon the still wintry appearance of a branch, caught by April’s tag with the sun, then was gone. Unlike signs of other leafing shrubs, this one feels shivery with indecision, its scraggy impression resembling a cluttered attic. Yet, upon closer inspection, a few small slender buds point toward the sky; the color, still to come.

The experience reminds me of Isaiah’s prophecy:

Behold, I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?

Intended for exiled Israelites under the Babylonians, soon to be freed in 539 BCE, the text still carries fresh power. The new thing fires the imagination and excites creativity, looks beyond the humdrum, and inhales vistas yet to be explored. But the even greater challenge is to recognize the new thing when it comes.

Memories of missed invitations rankle, with their failure of nerve, too absorbed in my psyche to take the necessary actions. In preferring my will, I scraped depression’s depths rather than internalize the gift proffered. And only within the gentle discipline of AA, years later, did I begin to watch for the telltale signs of new growth.

About that same time, the season of spring began to remind me of Creator God and His color-making power in ever-expanding universes—even now, in this eighty-six-year-old cypher.

Soon, the robin’s perch in the summer snowflake viburnum will assume the shape of a lacy gown—the seventh year of its flowering outside my study window. I give thanks, with gusto.

Emptiness discomfits me, snaps at my innards, and scrapes barnacles from my imagination while the sun-drenched afternoon toasts new budding on the snowflake viburnum outside my study window.

As a solitary dog-walker trudges up the hill, her chest heaving, a creeping barrenness unravels my grasp of life’s fabric.

I sit in my wing-back chair, close my eyes, and wait, uneasy and surrendered. Imperceptibly, a new courage emboldens me to listen. From the emptiness, an ineffable sense of the Sacred emerges, a whispering not found in human discourse or books.

This is something else.

It hurts: one of the faces of grief, united with the Ukrainians’ plight, the world over.

Yet, a wise potter once said, “We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds what we want.”

Available on Amazon

%d bloggers like this: