“ “She was so happy…yet sad… She ought to be grateful. She was grateful… If only something could happen now, this very minute, so that the war would be over…so that you could enjoy the beauty of the world without this burden of sadness…”
~ D. E. Stevenson, “Listening Valley” (set in WWII England)
And now, it seemed… He’d sent her out walking through old familiar neighborhoods…on mmm, a short reconnaissance mission of sorts…
Trudging uphill in this place of long ago, she felt as though these past few months had morphed her into someone she barely recognized as self. Physically and emotionally spent. Short of temper. Missing home.
And that steady roar of traffic all round didn’t help! It seemed to be nipping at her heels, thrumming a beat inside her head. The only good thing was that she could steal a little time to hum and pray aloud here without fear of being overheard, or of looking like a crazed woman walking and talking to herself. At least… she thought not.
She was circling her old junior high school now – heeding the call of the Spirit to lift up the anonymous students, teachers, even parents who peopled these halls today — when crinkled memories seemed to sweep up from the ball field, like papers blowing out of her old book bag (that hideous burlap one she’d ripped out stitches from, stitching and re-stitching again and again in sewing class), flying, escaping, to the fence.
They’re caught there in those iron holes, she couldn’t help thinking, like those crunched up empty potato chip bags sticking through there now. . . like a part of her that couldn’t fly free…
Memories of her twelve year old self racing out on that playing field to the jeers of the more sports-coordinated made her pray specifics for those kids out there these days, for His encouraging on their hopes and dreams, protection, healing, and wholeness of spirit… For kinder hearts, the end of bullying, joy in learning…
Looking ahead, the sidewalk hill she was on seemed impossibly steep. But a sudden longing to find a spot of peace in the morning seemed to push her forward like a gentle hand upon her back. She stood then at the top corner, gulping in deep breaths and scoping out her whereabouts.
Strange how one turnabout and all the cacophony of cars and fumes siphoned away.
Here, the sun spilled warm and soft, in and over white picket fences, much as the slow smile on a beloved face. It dappled lightly on roses of stained glass hues and gently breezed upon the pretty homes that lay dreaming in the early day. Twittering instruments sang from hidden perches amongst the treetops, leading her eye up and across the way and stealing her breath by the rare vision waiting there.
The Jacaranda tree, in full glory. Graceful in limb and trunk, it wore its cloud of green and amethyst like a royal headdress, sending down purple blossom ribbons to carpet the pathway steps carved into the lawn. It seemed to catch in her throat and hold her feet to place as she simply stood, pressing this beauty to mind and heart.
‘Morning!” greeted a bright voice of another, coming down the walk. They were two alone in a live painting, she thought, smiling and returning the hello.
Funny how a single ray of beauty sets one’s wings free, she reveled all the way back…
A Happy Father’s Day thought — :)
Our Father in Heaven loves you (and me) just as much as He loves Jesus!
© Pam Depoyan
Give Me Grace Sunday Stillness with Janis Cox