Tuesday, March 11, 2014
There was once a man
Handsome, strong, and able
Loving, kind, and honest.
Blue eyes rivaling the sky
He was once...or would have been.
Some say dreams are real
That life is the land of shadows,
Of unreal things we cling to
Forcing them toward solid form.
One shift of sand, one tilt of earth
And all we know is upside down.
In sleep this man is with me
But waking steals his face away
Leaving empty Mother's arms aching with the lack of his weight.
Some say God remembers.
“In God's memory”, they say he lives, so there is hope.
God is not forgetful, not even of sweet milky breath.
He knows things I do not, exists outside of Time.
So how does He recall those blue eyes?
Wrapped in infant flesh?
Grown to give sight to the most honorable of men?
Or as the Grandpa he will never be?
Where does his potential blossom...
Infant innocence and manly maturity unite?
Once a baby nestled in a Mother's arms
Tender breaths concluded all too soon.
One hundred eighty degrees...half a circle...incomplete, yet amazing in itself.
One hundred eighty years...two, maybe three lifetimes.
One hundred eighty months...so many nights flooded with full moon's light.
One hundred eighty days...a mere blink...not nearly enough to know the man who could have been.
It rained the day we saw him last,
His tiny shell dressed like such a man.
Dark clouds wrapped us up and the whole earth seemed to weep.
He journeys now in oceans deep and coastal waves,
Rippling ever outward, visiting lands those blue eyes never cast a gaze upon.
Yet still I cling, unable to bear the final parting.
Out of time, his leaving was.
Not correct...out of order...not as all should be.
Hence the ripping pain, always present, never ceasing.
Many days the Mother's eyes stay dry
Many nights a clawing grief shreds her dreams, raking its talons across her heart again.
How many band-aids does it take to soothe a severed limb?
The count continues.
There was once a man...or should have been.
There was once a mother to a son.
The number of completion swirls into view...
The eighth trip of the earth around the sun since his newborn cry sang into the night announcing his arrival.
A year of finishing...
Of learning how to conclude something that barely began.
Until then, the haunting...
Sunday, March 9, 2014
All of the important stuff will remain right here, though in a more organized and searchable fashion. New areas will also be added, bringing a vast amount of material here into one house, including cooking and recipe ideas, discussions on frugal living, crafting projects, gardening and food preservation and a monthly guest post by other noted writers and specialists in various fields.
Our focus recently has evolved to embrace the essence of life here in the suburbs, but with the added elements of a quiet and independent lifestyle whenever possible. Many years ago in my old neighborhood, several of my neighbors joked with me about my "little suburban farm". It was true: we grew and enormous garden, raised rabbits and ducks, and enjoyed the benefits of preserving many of our own foods. Every autumn we brought home a pickup truck full of fresh corn from a local farm. Processing one hundred dozen ears of corn (Yes, I said two hundred DOZEN...or over a thousand ears!) is a fair amount of work, so we always turned it into a community event by inventing our neighbors and friends to help. At the end of it all, everyone took home some freshly packed corn for their freezer, we had enough corn to last our own family for the entire year to come, as well as the perfect garden mulch cover of corn husks!
Now, not everyone will enjoy these kinds of activities, or will prefer to do them on a smaller scale. The point is that most of us will never live on a rural farm with tons of acres of land, but we can still enjoy many of the benefits of a simpler lifestyle and independent living. To that end, we are expanding Chasing the Shade to include material with that focus.
Thanks to all of you who have visited over the years, and we look forward to your comments on our new look. As always, we appreciate your suggestions and feedback. Meanwhile, keep looking forward to the coming springtime, remember to be kind to one another, and stay tuned for all the great things to come here in the Shade!
Here's to our independence...
Living in a hot climate, one becomes accustomed to seeking out areas of cool shade. Retreat from the heat of the sun can be necessary on hot days. I learned this when I lived in southern California...”hot and dry” took on a whole new definition to this girl who was accustomed to the Pacific Northwest! Likewise, retreat from the pressures of day-to-day life can also require that we back up and find a cool spot to re-group and collect our peace and strength.
Trials come in all shapes and sizes, from minor irritations that try our patience, to devastating interruptions that threaten the continuation of our lives as we know them. Whether great or small, sorrow and struggle will come to all of us and will inevitably change us. There can be no light without darkness, no recognition of peace if there has never been war, and no healing so vastly appreciated as when it comes at the end of a season of great pain. Even the scorching sun is partly responsible for the refreshment of cool shade, as the shade could not exist were it not for the hot sun pushing us to find a cool place. The heat itself produces our refuge.
Everyone knows the age-old question, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?". My answer has always been that the chicken came first because the Bible says that God created all the animals...not the embryonic beginnings of the animals that may or may not develop into animals. Then he told them to be fruitful and multiply...hence, the eggs. Similarly, without the sun existing first, there would be no need for nor opportunity for shade. Without challenges and trials, there would be no need for nor opportunity for resolution and peace. The question then, is not which came first. The question really is whether or not we are willing to embrace the existence of the one in order to experience the blessing of the other. We might even ask if we have such a choice because rarely are we in control of all of the circumstances that befall us. The sun rises every morning with absolutely no input from us, and challenges will come our way just as certainly as that sunrise.
In the meantime, we find ourselves chasing the shade.
"And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain." ~Isaiah 4:6