I’m tucked in, bundled in these layers; rumpled cotton sheets, off-white with this soft green leafy pattern like I’m swaddled in a spring garden. Comforter, and the fleecy blanket I swiped from my daughter’s room when she left for university, cover me. Everything’s warm in this nestling as I look across the room at the rocking chair, in the dim light, my clothes laid across the high back.

I’m not a morning person.

But this early morning is calling and I’m not sure what I’ll answer.

Yes, and push back this comfort or sink deeper and yield to another hour of oblivion?

Creativity is calling. I know I’m going to write this while I’m still deep in. I’m going to beat this.

What am I willing to trade for the moments of being weighted down, letting inertia win so my sleepy body can atrophy a bit longer? Which words will not find a page, thoughts succumb to the numbing, so that I and God and others won’t benefit from me being awake.

And I put it in that order on purpose.

I – because I benefit when I put my feet on the floor, grab those clothes and agree that morning is here and being awake is a good thing. Thoughts spark, spirit stretches to the Most High and that’s the next point.

God – not that He benefits from my getting up but I have to believe He’s pleased that I choose rising rather than sinking and has thoughts and plans about this day and all the resources I need in it, so is blessed in some fashion as I reach for Him on this still dawning day, but the blessing is all mine.

Others – because I don’t want the focus to be just on me, but on what God has planned to do through me and that is to bless others in some way, small or big and it’s not about trying but just showing up.

What do we trade all through the day for His glory and our good?

What little decisions press us into our comfort zones, lingering us there in repeating patterns, kaleidoscopes of same habits, stifling the God breathed invitation to wholeness shimmering around our souls daily.

It’s a conundrum as we lay in the beds we’ve made, covered in what’s familiar, safe feeling in some fashion, even if it’s not, yet around us is this sparkling more, this goodness calling us past the self-comfort into a galaxy of provision and we hesitate, I hesitate to step out, crawl out, leap out of the thing that binds me. And sheets, even pretty ones, sure can do that.

So this day…I’m up!

Early and writing. It’s good. Quiet, like no other time. Thoughts flow as I sip this cinnamon tea and anticipate.

And this offering is what the morning brings … so far.

Dog and I at the reservoir.

Crisp air.

Blackbird’s tinselly tune,

and the chickadee -dees dart (note to self: bring sunflower seeds next time).

An orgy of burgundies and ochre, paint-splattered across these autumn acres. Flaming sumacs arch into the path.

Then, this tributary and you grey and still against the rushes.

Reflected in shallow stream.

Standing.

Long.

I slip forward, trying not to disturb as your head moves, watching me and I you.

I turn for just a moment (where has dog gone),

And when I look back, you’ve disappeared.

I peer. Are you camouflaged in the reeds?

No.

I press through grass and weeds to my hips, closer,

And along the narrow, weaving corridor of this water, you are there.

Tiptoeing if I can call it that,

One long leg, one web foot after the other.

A graceful exit from my intrusion.

Your neck dips and head turns.

You look and I look as you saunter into the grey,

On this reddest of mornings.

on the anniversary of my salvation (part II)

It’s not all dry

In fact there’s this river winding it’s way through sometimes parched places.

Blood streaming river, grace river, provision river.

And even back then he (Moshe) struck a rock when told and the water gushed out.

He struck a Rock and Water gushed out?!

Water and blood when the Rock was struck, stricken.

I’m stricken that I don’t SEE it all bled out for me. FOR ME!!!

Why stand on the shore, rant about the dry land when there’s this frothing invitation right there.

Cascading

Deep

Filling

Satisfying

Never thirsty again

Stream

I lunge (lunged then and forgot then too when the sun stacked high, soul scorching life and I became an Israelite wandering, murmuring) in.

Immersed

Why not every. single. day?

There’s a river of life flowing out of ….. me.

I choose

this again.

Despite distractions, the vaunted bellowing about the state of things, everywhere.

There’s a river!

Ha ha! There’s a river. What am I doing?

Provision: cleansing, thirst quenching, re-creating, restful, irrigating everything, this river.

Yes. Still and again.

You?

on the anniversary of my salvation (part 1)

40 years in the desert (lacking an extra ‘s’ makes it the antithesis of a sweet finish to something filling, rather just a dry lack)

Trusting, not trusting

Learning and forgetting (am I James, forgetting what I look like in the veritable mirror?)

Provision and pain

Occasions of thankfulness and murmurs bookending

Will I learn and see the Promised Land?

Rest,

in the Everlasting Arms

Or keep making this life, my work, my way, my straining effort,

weary striving to get it right

There is only One right

I understand

Like a hole being dug, deeper, dirt scraped out until the truth hits bottom

It’s not about me

It’s about Him

Utter dependence my only work

Utter yielding the only position required

Therein lies the door

Soft Night

I’ve never felt air so soft

The wind high and playful at 1am, and so warm

Elaine’s maple is writhing, waving it’s ample arms in great gross gestures

Lifting it’s skirts in a whirling, gyrating dance

More a comedian, than a monster

More a romance than a threat

I want to stay out here in my long nightie

Pitch a tent and sleep under the black, wind sky

Listen to the constant watery song of leaves rustling, rustling

I could but I know soon that canopy will break open

An ocean up there about to crash on my shore

But wouldn’t I want to be caught in the unleashing?

I bet it’ll be warmest rain

Just like the kiss of this air

Ode To Mary Oliver

Sometimes just a bite of chocolate

or whatever sweetest thing you desire.

Even making love has its rhythm and finish and rest.

I read this poem, then another.

Feel the sweet spark of thought,

the agony of understanding,

the pleasure of words weaving a thought, a picture.

I read another and find I simply can’t.

I’m satiated and will rest,

enjoying the morsel I’ve already bitten into,

the love I’ve already been filled with.

To have more would be greedy.

To have more would diminish the flavor

of what I’m still digesting.