Friday, August 14, 2009

The word of the day: Trust.

Discovering what that means, and learning to silence my thoughts and listen to His voice. Because growing up seems to mean making decisions, and growing up with grace means following His steps and seeking wisdom in the decisions.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I am reading through old posts from 2006 and I came across this story and had to re-post it, it made me laugh way too hard to remember this eventful Thanksgiving morning...

A funny story...

So last night I was being my OCD self and I was 'arguing' with Dad about this little basket that he keeps moving on the window seal. Every morning I wake up and go into the bathroom (mine and Kris' bathroom downstairs!) and the first thing I see is this brown basket, off centered, pushed awkwardly against the old glass coke bottle that hold a flower (a fresh one, not a fake one- thats important to me, lol). OKay, so keep in mind dad and I are in the bathroom at about 2:30am aruging back and forth about the placement of this small basket. Actually, we aren't quite arguing, I am actually begging him to let me atleast angle the basket the other way of he wont let me move it back to where it belongs on the other side of the window seal. He, eventually willing to TELL ME WHY it must be in that ridiculous, off-centered position, tells me to open the window- thus knocking over the basket, which falls and knocks over the glass candle holder on the floor and making quite a commotion. I pick it all up- part laughing at this whole event, but still truly frusterated (dad's favorite word, hehe). Suddenly, in the midst of me putting things back, and re-angling the basket Dad starts laughing and points at the toilet and says, "Look what you did!" "You dropped your shoes in the toilet!"

Well....I had been picking up the bathroom and cleaning (yes, don't all normal people clean their bathroom at 2:30 in the morning?) And I had grabbed Kris' tennis shoes off the floor to put in her room, when dad came in and pushed the basket in against the coke bottle. I still don't know when, or how, but somehow I dropped KRIS's shoes in the toilet in the midst of our "argument" (and by the term 'argument' I mean a persuasive discussion incorporating all the available means of persuasion). As Dad is laughing, I thrust my hand into the toilet (okay- admit it, you are all wondering about the manner of the toilet at this is flushed, and it had just been cleaned hours before) and grab out Kris's tennis shoes, explaning to dad (in a very panicked, loud tone) "They aren't mine- They are Kris's!" "Crap! Crap!" Dad begins lauging harder than I have heard him laugh in a while, knowing full well that his middle daughter is about to kill me! I began panicking, wondering what to do with them.

Dad said, "throw them in the bath tub. She'll think they got wet in there." But she'd still get mad at me- how did they get in the bath tub?! I went and 'rung' them out in the laundry room and set them on the floor. By now, Dad's filled mom in on the story and she is laughing with dad as I worry about where I can put the shoes to dry. katherine's on the stairs, "what happened?" I said- "Go to your room!" Mom and dad both still laughing, even harder. I set them on the floor in the back corner of the laundry room, hoping she wouldn't see them....and then this morning, I could help but tell her the whole funny story. She laughed, until she found out WHICH shoes. :(

Happy Thanksgiving!
This morning I saw a flower. Tiny, and quickly tramped, but I saw it. It was there and that is what matters. It lived, it grew and it called forward to something greater. I know each man and woman in this town, but I dare not address them. They take little notice of me. I know their children, and we play and laugh together. I am more like the little ones.

It was when the children’s parents called them to come along and hurry home with them, “stay close by my side,” they chided them. As I said, it was then that I first discovered my treasure. I’d seen the way the older ones looked at me that afternoon as they told their children to come close, grabbing their hands. My nose had started to sting, my eyes would have rained were we not all in this drought. The land is dry; the people’s hearts are dry too. Our cattle has grown thin and most have perished, providing dinner for one more night. I wanted to get away from their eyes, the mix of judgment and pity and their own shame all projected onto me like an old silent film. I should have starved by now, I should just die rather then live to remind the few who remember my birth: the expectations, the joy, the dreams of their ignorant youth. It was easier to ignore me, and they tried to make their children forget me too.

I ran until I collapsed in a dead sea of dried up wheat, pale gold for miles. I’d spent all I had inside in this last attempt to escape the dry and painful world. Grabbing dried blades that scratched and cut at my hands, I rolled onto my back and cried out. No words, just a groan that came from empty canyons. The sun was hot, and as I stared at the blood and burnt wheat in my hands, they turned to grays and whites and then all went black. When I awoke it was dark, quiet, and cool. It seemed a different land. I found my hands, and then my knees. As I stared at the ground in front of me, ready to rock back onto my feet I thought I saw myself. Not as I supposed I now looked, but as I once had, or someday could. My hair was dark and long, light and floating on a breeze. My eyes glowed soft. My face was full and though dark from the sun, it was lovely.

I leaned closer and closer, until suddenly I felt I’d tumble over. I was down there, I was deep. I decided to find something to reach down there with, to see if the me in the well might grab it and climb out, or if perhaps this apparition may be something better then it appeared. Water. There were no trees nearby, so I settled on a long, thick blade of wheat, baked hard by the sun. I retraced my steps in the dark and when I figured I was close I returned to my knees and crawled. Reaching its edge, I laid flat on my belly and reached my arm down deep, until I heard something quietly meet: my secret expectations and the real hidden source of life- water. I’d found a well, no doubt an ancient one. I laughed, and then laughed again at the sound of my own long-forgotten laugh. I stared into a sky that seemed less like an empty pale and more like an endless ocean for the first time. I was thankful for it, for the night, for the stars, for the old well I’d found. I started to wonder if it were okay to drink, could I drink it now? Was it bitter like the water we get to spoon from the old pipe for a pound? Who was the man who’d worked to dig it? What was his wife like? I rolled over and stared into the well at the dark lovely woman inside. She was me, and somehow I felt I became her. The silly thoughts of a child you’d think, except for what follows.

The dawn had soon begun to break and I did my best to conceal the treasure, determined to return when I’d decided what I was to do with this well. The following day brought many dreams, more than any night I’d shared with the stars. The following night I returned to the same spot and lay on my face at the well. I’d brought an old red pale, and when I felt I’d looked at the lady long enough, I tied a rope to the handle and slowly dropped it down. I heard the sweet splash of my desires into the depths of reality, louder then the night before and my heart felt stronger then any moment I could remember. I felt the rope grow heavy and I pulled hard. As I brought it to the surface of the ground, I grasped its handle and felt the heaviness of having your dreams in your hand.

Inside, was more then crimson water. A glass bottle floated at the top, attached was a small weight, an anchor of sorts that read “hope” across it. My eyes widened, and I felt it was mine to open the bottle. Inside was a note; it read simply:
Hope rarely comes in the rain, most often it’s quiet, spreading through the soil until it manifests in one beautiful flower, and then another, and another, until the garden itself calls down the heavens.

The penmanship was lovely. But I’d hoped for something more, clearer, perhaps a signature or a date, or a “this water is safe.” But nothing told me the water was safe. On the contrary, something about it seemed entirely wild, even while it was peaceful and quiet. It seemed patient, yet alive with desire to get out. “Release me” it whispered in the dark night. As if I was nothing but the water’s vessel, I tipped the heavy bucket over and felt its cool and wild hands race across my feet. I watched closely as it spread out across the ground my feet touched. You’d think that starving soil would greedily drink the waters down, but instead, hard and dry it resisted. But the water would not be denied its purpose, and it waited patiently for the soil to open up. After several minutes it had all worked its way down. I wondered still more about the nature of the well. I decided to be patient as the water had, and watch to see the water’s affect on the soil.

The next morning I wandered by, unobserved to steal a glance at the water in the daylight. After a quick glance around, I dropped to my stomach and crawled closer, uncovering the well. Looking down, I saw a dark glimmer deep below. I did not see the well’s lady. Deep inside me, I heard a call to her and resisted the urge to release it out loud, even just in a whisper.

As I sat back on my knees, and dusted off my hands, I looked around the spot and recognized it was the same place I’d dumped the bucket the night before. Reaching for the rope, I pulled up another heavy bucket, straining more in the intense heat than I had the night before. As I pulled it over the edge I stared into the bucket, lost in the ripples crashing back and forth. Most often it’s quiet, spreading through the soil, the words I’d read last night splashed back and forth in my mind. I tipped the bucket over again. This time, I didn’t wait to see it soak in. I lowered the bucket back silently, concealed my treasure and crawled until I felt it a safe distance to stand and journey away.

And so my nights continued, traveling to the well and pouring out its wild and peaceful waters across the field. ‘Till one morning I walked toward my well, and as I stared carefully down at the ground, hoping to catch a glance down at the deep waters, I saw something yellow. It was like fire, or the sun, a butterfly. I dropped to my knees in this place, as I had dozens of times before. My breath heavy and my movements clumsy, I reached out to touch its gentle petals. The stem was long and lovely, a picture of beauty we’d long been starved of. Something had grown in this desert. That night I returned, and I drew more then one bucket of water, I drew them over and over, spilling them out across the field until I felt I couldn’t pull the weight of the waters up again. “One last time, and this one will be for a different desert” I concluded. Pulling its heavy red host from the well’s edge, I braced it with both arms and rested it on the ground in front of me. I sat there, a cross-legged quiet warrior. The one who’d waited patient as these waters. The one who’d moved in the darkness of night, not seen by those who should love and embrace me. I sat there, the promise of change in my arms. I offered both my hands to the wild creature in the bucket, and it rushed into my palms to thank me. Filled to the top, I pulled it out and splashed it across my face. A deep gasp, and then a laugh. Next, I reached deep and filled the cup of my hands, raising it to my lips. As the water trickled down my throat, I thought of that hard soil that had resisted to no avail. I felt its coldness run all the way down into the deepest parts of my stomach and heart. I felt awake, alive. I drank again, and again. I couldn’t escape the feeling that my desert was turning into a garden, and I was growing.

We have not yet seen the rain, but the flowers are growing. Some speculate that its magic. Others say science. Logically, it had to come eventually, the soil just needed time to reconstruct and heal itself. Whatever the reason they try to give it, they can’t fully believe it themselves.

This morning I woke, tired from another night’s unseen work. The people are beginning to see the beauty spreading, flowers across the fields. I see a rain cloud growing just above them. I am little, but I am growing too and they may not recognize me. I am the lady in the well, deep calling unto deep. I am the one who waters in the desert, who works in the night, who calls the flowers and waits like the waters, wild and peaceful.

I am Hope.