Monday, May 25, 2009

After the Rain

All night the sky wept. When I woke to today's gray wet morning, Love surprised me by also waking me to a heart brimming with quiet hope.

She who loves sunshine more than words can say, rose from a sweet night's sleep, tore the lid from last night's pizza box and painted a list of possibilities for today.

Third on the royal purple list was "weed." I needed to make room for the flowers I'd bought yesterday.

I went outside, ostensibly to just turn on my fountains, but I didn't come back inside for two hours. Without any conscious intent, I bent over one of my gardens and pulled a handful of grass.

Delighted at how easily it gave up its hold, I pulled another clump. Then another.

The night's rain had not only watered last year's seeds and bulbs. It had also made it nearly a joy to pull the weeds that were choking out the perennials and those determined enough to reseed themselves.

As I worked my way through first one garden, then another, I thought of all the tears I'd shed these past few days, mourning the loss of a friendship that had, in many ways, sustained me in the nearly two years since an unwanted divorce had become final.

These recent tears at times felt like molten pain, searing my insides. But they also served to cleanse and clarify.
Late last night I was finally able to acknowledge that yes, many sharp and sweet joys came out of that friendship. But this good was, sadly, more than counterbalanced by acts of hurt and betrayal.

I am ready now to accept that I deserve better.

My weeding showed me that the rain loosened the soil, making the removal of what did not belong nearly effortless. In the same way, tears had soothed and softened my bruised heart, allowing the removal of old growth, roots and all.

Once the weeds were removed, several clumps of flowers were able to show their sweet faces.

Space was made for new flowers to be planted.
And so also do I feel tiny buds of love and tender hope stir in the soil of my soul . . . watered, yes, by tears, but also warmed into blossom by Love's constant embrace.
And I too am ready for new love to take root and bloom.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hanging onto Joy

This morning I am hanging onto joy. It's been a liquid few days. By that I mean that tears have flowed freely, with resulting puffy eyes and slimy snotty upper lip and chin (ewwwwwwwww!!)

But through it all I keep finding my way back to a smile, a laugh. True, these start as a grimace and a rumbly grumble, but eventually, within minutes (okay, within hours sometimes) they are almost recognizable as signs of a heart growing lighter once again.

What caused this recent descent into the valley of the shadow? I reached out, finally, to a friend who had been out of touch with me for several weeks, asking why there had been no responses to my previous efforts at contact. Was he okay? The response was, in essence, that he'd moved on, found someone else "better. "

Half my heart said, "Well, poop on you." The other half said, "Why wasn't I good enough?" Yet another half said, "What can I say or do here that will promote healing and growth for both of us?" Still one more half moaned, "Why me, God? Why me? What's wrong with ME???"

Yes, I'm well aware that all my bits of hearts add up to more than one whole. But that's the way I feel. God has given me a huge heart with which to care and feel and ache. And sometimes I want to give it back to Him and say, "Take back my heart. I don't want it. It hurts too damn much."

And then I realize: giving my heart back to God is precisely what He requires of me. Oh.

In my prayers lately, I've come across many Bible verses that tell me to give my "whole heart" to God. I always assumed that in addition to meaning "entire," "whole" also meant a heart in one piece. What God breathed into my sadness yesterday was that it simply meant ALL of my heart. It's okay if it's broken. Just be sure that when I hand my heart to God, I give Him all the pieces. Every single shard. Okay.

P.S. The pictures accompanying this post are more of my beautiful flowery friends. They remind me to keep blooming, no matter what. Blooming is NOT a choice for them. It is what they are designed to do.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm back . . .

Yes, I'm back. And the weird part is that I didn't even realize I'd been "gone." Ever since I started blogging in January, some internal calendar sent me to the computer every few days to post a message. But in May, that evidently didn't happen.

I do know that I've felt particularly unsettled the past few weeks. A dear dear friend finally talked to me, and persisted, until I was able to see that something was indeed out-of-whack. Yes, I had made a commitment early in January to follow where God was leading me, even though it felt very uncomfortable. God had promised to be my partner in the dance of life and He was urging me--actually He was inviting me quite insistently :)--to stay out on the dance floor with Him and not to worry if I didn't know the steps (He did). And I was not to run for the chairs along the wall in between songs. Just stay out there, smack dab in the middle of the world and new experiences and evolving relationships and listen for the music.

I obeyed. A result of this was that I often felt uneasy, uncomfortable. I was definitely thinking things and saying things and doing things that were not "usual" for me. True, I was uncomfortable, but I was with the Comforter. I let that assurance support me and gradually I got more accustomed to NOT feeling comfortable.

But these past few weeks, as my dear dear friend helped me see, I had lost the joy. As I prayed in private, what God revealed to me was that in those early months, it was very appropriate that I feel sort of twitchy and at times, gritchy, due to being far out of my comfort zone. But now I had grown quite a bit. And actually, I had OUTgrown that twitchy gritchy feeling and was now feeling it only out of habit. It was time for me to lay aside what was appropriate THEN, and move forward. With joy.

As nearly as I can tell, this need for emotional recalibration is what made my internal calendar go whacky, resulting in my being oh-so-sure I had left several posts here during May, when in fact I had not. (Gee, how much MORE have I thought I've done and really, I haven't???? :)

In a sweet blessing from God and the universe, even during this time with only one post for nearly 3 weeks, several new people have visited my blog and left wonderfully supportive comments. Thank you to everyone, both new and familiar, for the responses. They mean the world.

See you soon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Yes, odd as it may seem, except to those of you who really know me :), I'm considering this lovely bloom as a pretty accurate picture of yours truly.

This is one of a cluster of geraniums I had growing outside last summer, and which I pulled in before a frost killed them. They have wintered beautifully indoors, right next to my "sit and think and read and write" chair.
As they inevitably grew toward the sunlight in the picture window, they would lean over my shoulder and drop luscious petals of hot pink and lipstick red, some on my lap and many more on the beige carpet below.
Nope, I didn't vacuum these petals. Too pretty. Too much of a gift of bright and brillliant beauty during a loooooooong winter.

I pinched off the tops of the several plants, thinking to "manage" their growth--hoping for thick versus leggy, concerned that leggy might snap off . . .but my sweet plants had their own ideas. They continued to strain toward the sun and shot out new splindly sprouts.
I surrendered my efforts to tell them how best to grow and just took a little easel and upended it in their soil and provided a couple loops of cotton twine to loosely secure the tallest stems. They seem safe enough now.

At last count, 9 clusters of buds are in various stages of bloom. I've never had so many at one time.
I've also never felt so much bud and blossom in my own life.
Yes, the winter of my journey has seemed very long and drear, but all during it, I also insisted on blooming. The light has also irresistibly drawn me toward it. During times when I just wanted to give up, God was there to reassure me: "Even if you let go, dear one, I'm still holding on to you." And dear friends and family have also reached out to express very specific love and tender encouragement. For that, I give my deepest thanks.