Morning Walk

Often times, it’s the simple, everyday habits that draw me to God. Something as common as walking or breathing can become a wordless prayer.

Exploring poetry has helped me think about the proper economy of words — how sometimes not saying something is more powerful than trying to put all my thoughts to words.

So, here’s a poem… maybe as simple, and profound as… breathing.


footsteps

 

 

foot falls on asphalt.

arms pump in rhythm

to my

heart beat.

 

lips part to murmur

prayers – in and out –

raised

to

God.

 

Tucked away for the future

A writer-friend of mine, challenged me to write a poem entitled, “What I would tell my granddaughter” based on things I know to be true. Well, yes, my granddaughter is still years and years away from making an entrance into my life, but still, I’m hopeful she’ll be here one day.

So, here’s where my thoughts landed.

If I should have a granddaughter… 

I would take her out in the morning early so we could catch the sun rising over the horizon shedding its rays of pinks and purples and yellows.

And I would tell her, “Sweetheart, the sun always comes up in the morning; and even if you can’t see it through the clouds or the haze or the tree-shaped shadows, it’s there ready to offer warmth and a start to a new day unwritten.”

Sand

I would take her on walks along a salty shore lined with shells and seaweed and driftwood; and we would pause to let the waves wash over our toes.  The outgoing water would pull the sand from under our feet and we would sink just a bit each time.

And I would tell her, “Baby, the ocean never stops coming and going, one with the other.  And even though it’s painful sometimes, life is filled with hellos and goodbyes, bringing heartache and healing, tears and tenderness, longing and laughter.”

 

I would take her to city parks crawling with children with different colored skin and hair and eyes, speaking languages strange to her ears.

And I would tell her, “Darlin’, a smile needs no translation and the best way to approach an unfamiliar situation is open-handed rather than close-fisted; and people who aren’t like you are often the best people to help you know you.”

 prayer candles

I would take her to houses of worship where Jesus is known and loved and spoken of; places where the Spirit moves freely and mysteriously, where people have “met their maker” and lived to tell about it.

And I would tell her, “Angel, you have a story to tell, a story worth telling.  It started the moment God thought of the very idea of you and placed you in your momma’s belly, and it’s still unfolding to point people around you, who know you and your story, to the God who lives to redeem.

 

I would take her to a mountaintop covered in sweet smelling firs, where the wind speaks to the trees who whisper back, “He’s here.  He sees.” And we would wait, hand in hand, blood warmth pulsing through our entangled fingers, for the moon to rise and take its place among the stars.

And I would sit with her quietly, knowing that some moments are better left unsaid, untainted by words that fail to bring understanding. And we would mull our thoughts in the cool moonlight.

My Florida Nature

cypress growthSunday afternoon — I feel the pull to spend time outside “walking in the garden” with my Creator God.

A pale blue sky. Warm sun on our backs.  Florida scrub stretching on for miles.  Sharp saw grass carpets the sparse forest of scraggy pines.

men walking

Through the wilderness, hard pressed gravel gently curves and draws us on.  My men lead the way.  I am the minority gender in my clan.  I like it that way.  They huddle in a pack, swapping lines from Star Wars and The Princess Bride.  I hang to the rear, drinking in the sight of four sets of shoulders, four sets of feet and hands.  Strong.  They plow into the future… at least today.

Around a bend, the forest thickens and envelopes us under a canopy of Florida cypress. My men head into thicket, leaving the path in search of treasure.  I am struck by a treasure of another kind.

Growing in a stagnant stream, bell-shaped tree trunks stand silent, majestic.  Other worldly. They look to be storing up the water like a swollen elephant’s trunk.  Brown oval shaped leaves litter the forest floor, making the space appear untouched, forgotten. This wonderland was waiting for us to discover it… an off beat beauty reserved only for those willing to risk leaving the trail.

cypress grove

Central Florida wilderness astounds me, delights me.  I like the surprises.  What I see here is like nothing I’ve known in the deserts of Arizona, or the beaches of California, or the rolling hills of Indiana.

Creator God, thank you for showing me beauty in my Florida surroundings.  Thank you for strangeness.  You’re teaching me to trust you and receive the unfamiliar from your hand.  Soften my heart so I can receive even more.