Day 5: Scarlet Ribbons…

                                               I peeked in, to say goodnight,                                                                                                         When I heard my child in prayer…                                                                                                “…and, for me, some scarlet ribbons,                                                                                                Scarlet ribbons for my hair…”

                                                   All our stores were closed and shuttered,                                          All the streets were dark and bare.
In our town, no scarlet ribbons,
No scarlet ribbons for her hair.

Through the night my heart was aching;
Just before the dawn was breaking…

I peeked in, and on her bed
– In gay profusion lying there –
Were lovely ribbons, scarlet ribbons
Scarlet ribbons for her hair.

If… I live… to be… a hundred
I will never know from where
                                                   Came those… lovely… scarlet ribbons,                                                        Scarlet ribbons for her hair… *

Scarlet Ribbons, Segal/Levine, ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., EMI Music

Have you ever received a miraculous gift of “scarlet ribbons?”  Something so lovely your heart wished… but dared not hope for — something just planned for you?

I think our extravagant God sent some my way today…

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Stepping into my car this afternoon, I’m feeling a bit down, looking forward to getting past a personal hurdle, yet not wanting to wish away this my favorite time of year.

Suddenly…out of nowhere, like a sweet breeze… an old song* is on my lips and in my heart…bringing back memories from my girlhood.  How Harry Belafonte always sang these tender words so breathily.  How tears starred my eyes even as a small child…each time he got to the part, “as dawn was breaking…”

For I knew what was coming.  A miracle had happened!  Beautiful, beautiful ribbons…all around his sleeping daughter…

Not just one, I remember…wonderingly.  But…profusely given…

Then…I see them.

Scarlet trees…strung like ribbons, winding through neighborhoods…all around me… now.  My absolute favorite of all autumn’s raiment.  Crimson joy.  This day…in this moment…they seem made just for me.

And I hear a calling to my soul… Come away, my beloved…

I picture the nearby lake where I can breathe in the stunning Indian summer beauty, sit awhile and turn my thoughts… to his voice.  As I drive there by a back way, I find myself at the corner where my good friends once lived as newlyweds.  The darling little colonial built over the antique shop.  The one I just posted about on Day 3 of this series…and haven’t been inside of in years.

Today there is a friendly OPEN sign beckoning me in.  But the small drive is packed and I turn instead toward the water.  Still... nowhere to park.  Maybe I’ll stop around the block at a favorite tearoom of sorts,   I think…indulge in a sweet treat first.  I’ve been depriving myself for a few months now, trying to stay away from too much sugar.  But today… today it seems like a gift I should receive.

Seated by a window overlooking the quaint shops made to look like a bit of Americana main street, gaslight street lamps and all… thankfulness washes over me.  Thankfulness to be living here in this setting where charm lives.  In a place where I have only to step out my door into the beauty of fall.  Or drive a few minutes and reach a refreshing nearby lake.

I decide to walk the few blocks back down to the lake now, stop in to the antique shop for a browse, savor this time away from having to be at any particular job.  Let worry blow itself out across the sea.

“Hello!”  smiles the shopkeeper, as I enter the tiny treasure trove, so like an enchanting English wardrobe.  We begin chatting… about the little fluted china cup here and the pretty Windsor chair over there.  A watercolor captures my attention…a painting of this very house…and I remember a similar pen and ink drawing I drew as a gift to my friends years before.

I turn the conversation…talk about how my friends once lived here… the elderly British gentleman who used to own this shop.  A bold thought comes into my mind.  Ask her if she might look at your old drawing.  Might they consider it on consignment? Without thinking, I speak these thoughts out.

“Yes!” she says enthusiastically.  I notice the watercolor artist has used a more modern approach than mine, but the shopwoman seems to think what I am thinking, without my saying it…that perhaps pen and ink lends itself to capturing the charm of this place.

“It’s possible the owner may even want to buy it for herself…,” she says, lighting my thoughts with possibilities I hadn’t even been dreaming of… till now.

Scarlet ribbons… comes a whisper to my heart.

For this would be an answer to a prayer I’ve been lifting for some new open doors.  Lately I’ve been concentrating more on writing than my art…haven’t drawn much in years. But I wonder… why have I never thought of showing them that drawing before this?  Maybe nothing will come of it….but suddenly I am feeling…similar to what a character in Miracle on 34th Street once said…  Maybe I didn’t just decide to stop by here on my own this day…  Lightness dances over me as I ponder this…

I walk back to find a bench by the lake…think of how it is that He leads our steps.  White sails are out – a last hurrah to the season  on the gently-rippling water. I sit down, breathe deeply.  Another bella day.  There is no accordion enchanting me today.  (Read about that unusual spring day here:  One Bella Day)  But there is music all the same.

Off to my left… boats moored to their docking are gently swaying on the breeze, and I enjoy the rhythmic, bell-like clink, clink of their tethers.  Two swans suddenly take off from nearby…skimming the air just above the water… and making the loudest chugging noise I’ve ever heard.  It takes me a minute to realize that sound is actually coming from them as they whir across the lake and land together off at the far edges.  I remember how swans mate for life…and their fidelity love is here…before me. Heart-lifting chimes begin to peal from a wonderful old church tower just behind the trees at the far side of the lake. And giggles of children reaching out to ducks sing up to me from the rocky shoreline.

Softly, like gold-tipped feathers, leaves are falling here and there from the red and yellow trees overlooking the water… Not in showers…but intermittently. Persistently.  A few drifting over and landing on me.   Like little blessings… they come…

…Scarlet ribbons   

Later…in the evening… I gaze out my window to the setting sun… to the trees out in the distance above my neighbors’ homes.  Suddenly I notice a break in the branches silhouetted against the deepening sky where crimson is glowing through. Like a small, almost-heart-shaped peephole.  And it feels like another calling to my heart… and yours… to know His own… Bridegroom to bride, Royal Father to beloved daughter…

Even now…can you hear it? 

Perhaps…while we are sleeping… He is placing a happy profusion of reminders around us each… just waiting for us to discover them. 

And I think, oh…let us purpose to find them in each day… And then share them. To uplift each other.  Won’t you share a few of  yours here?

© Pam Depoyan

* To listen to this beautiful song, go here: HARRY BELAFONTE – ‘Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair)’ – 1957

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Autumn Leaves   I’m linking up again with Holley Gerth’s blog today… for the entry: In God’s heart I am…Called.  Check out her inspiring You Are Called!

And also with Melissa Michaels at (for all my  posts listed under “autumn leaves” – to read them all, see categories to the right) .  Discover Melissa’s beautifully simple ideas for bringing fall inside your home at her welcome page for31 inspired days, along with the rest of the “31-dayers” who are also sharing various month-long inspirations! 

And... I just linked up to as well, for her topics on prayer and feeding your soul…  You’ll want to stop by and take a “sip” of her encouraging words too!

Linking up with Life In Bloom for a little Autumn Glory in July…

Tag:  I peeked in, to say goodnight…


About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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4 Responses to Day 5: Scarlet Ribbons…

  1. ljbmom says:

    Oh, Pam! How rich this post is. In light of your comment over at my place I am waving those scarlet ribbons around in joy. What a gift to have such open eyes, my friend. I will be praying for you in the journey you are about to embark upon. You touched my heart tremendously. May God bless you and keep you, Pam.

    • Thank you, Laura… for all your kind words and especially for your prayers. I had a kind of “push” to write this post – it all just seemed to flow from what I think he was showing me. I just read your “about” page and in the first few lines I can tell we think alike! Your writing touched me too! I’ve bookmarked your blog to keep reading and invite you to come back here again… 🙂

  2. Diane says:

    Scarlet Ribbons by Harry Belafonte is one of my all-time favorite songs that stirs my heart deeply. Years ago, when I was in private worshiping The Lord, I would wave scarlet colored ribbons. It was very special. I don’t know what happened to those ribbons – I lost them in one of our moves I guess. Thanks for a pecious memory.

  3. Thanks for sharing that story, Diane! I have been singing that song in my head now ever since posting this. It always amazed me how music like that (like Fiddler’s “Sunrise, Sunset”) could affect me so deeply when I was still a child… such is the power of music.

    As I write, I’m looking out at a large pot of geraniums on my porch. They are actually more profuse now than they were all summer. Crimson, bright and cheery…more of those scarlet ribbons to me right now! 🙂

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