Precipitation .

Raging fires and devastating drought have overwhelmed this part of the world that we call home and it really has felt like life imploded over the last twelve months.

Like the internal and external environments around us have reflected and refracted the same theme and there’s been little reprieve from the onslaught..

Impossible diagnosis had launched herself into our stratosphere and we were caught in the whirlwind of trying to process exactly what those words would mean to the way life needed to be walked.

January held Acute Myeloid Leukemia,

June a heart attack then strokes x 4 Life shattering disability following in its wake

August marriage and family collapsed in an avalanche of lies undone. If lies were liquid the drought would have broke by now a thousand times over.

But they arnt so water got scarcer. The green pastures turned to dry cracked earth and trees and gardens of our own oasis die.

Temperatures rise quickly with summer coming earlier then she used to . No afternoon storms this year to break the heat. Just hot dry parched landscape. Selfishly I’m thankful for their lack. Storm watching was a favorite pass time in years of love gone by.

Fire season struck with vengeance burning hard and fast with no escape It seemed the whole world might burn and there was no stopping it.

The blue sky disappearing behind walls of smoke for weeks on end the earth here bathed in orange glow. Nights moon shone red through the acrid haze. Ash fall on everything and its like gazing at life through a sepia lense.

Colourless…void and dying.

But we were blessed . Spared the losses that others have faced …it stopped being a question of if but when the fires come and I realised that was exactly like our life.

Inevitable it is that pain will come. Heartache is it seems an equal opportunist of truest form.

And whilst I cry out at the injustice. At the disappointment ,and the needless mess.

I find necessity to get back up. Can’t hover here in despair..

I’m not fighting flames that threaten to consume but the dark that seeks to infiltrate this space that’s carved for glorys presence..

And in the fight to stand back up.. I find my voice….the breaking holds blessings in disguise and isn’t this the way of freedoms walk ?

I find courage seeping into the empty spaces..spured on by those who hold integrities hand. Despondent prayers are flung heavenwards and the troposphere cracks her reluctant floodgates…

Rain downpours as a Christmas wish come true drenching our arid earth and barren hearts a fresh with glorious liquid blessing.

Fires are extingished by heavens own hand and we are ever awed.

The reprieve this brings is divine intervention to an overdone soul.

The danger isn’t gone completely,theres still blazes to be fought. But each new step forward, Each time my gaze shifts higher, we gain ground.

Freedom comes at the cost of heartbreak a result of trust mislayed .Its a bitter lesson learnt.

Rain holds the promise of restoration..its grace tangible.

The dark retreats and glory edges back .A voice rises up louder then before. Wings stretch out ,arms link and we advance untouched.

Smoke and mirrors still try their hand at shaking this new courage that we’ve found.Threats seek to shut down this boldness.But it seems freedom has unshackled controls rigid grip and we will have none of that.

Faith stirs deep again feeding on glorys fire and I learn that burning bridges can it seems illiminate better the way then floodlights ever could.

Rain will come eventually. Droughts will break . Rivers will flow and life will begin again… The glory space will hold strong and despair will be a distant memory.

Contrast

Life’s full of contrast.This last season was pain unparalleled and provision unequalled all at once .Identity shifted, thwarted,stolen perhaps…yet blessed, loved and seen better then before.By ones I never expected to be there .

Now days I’m introduced as the “single mum”.. Ahh.. never wanted that title. It’s not that I can’t do it.I know I have capacity. I just never wanted too. It’s not meant to be this way.

I miss the idea of another. The reality however is easier to release.

That in itself is sad truth.

If love rang true it might be harder to let go… But love fell short more then once. Love wasn’t just blind but distracted,absent and unaware.Love hid from life and wished for a different path.The family created wasn’t enough to fill the void.Love grew cold like ice and cruel followed .Wrapped all up in self alone it stopped seeing the hearts it held allowing them to slip through fingers, grip slipped, fallen, shattered, lost.

Love looked at this heart to give it joy.. But truth is its impossibly unwise to source happiness in something external.Destined to disappoint,this heart not created to fill such space.

Truest joy is birthed from within.. Forged in fires of contrast it shines brightest. This heart has learnt that secret well. So in the absence of love…joy remains and contrary wise increases more and more freely now that it is uncrushed by the heartache of life with a broken other.

Loving deep whilst living unseen unknown and unfelt is an lonely existence indeed. Here I find despite the ache there is freedom in this space of disguard…Perhaps I should feel bitter disdain, sorrow, anger, jealousy maybe at being so easily replaced…to be replaced before even being disguarded is a vicious blow to ones pride most definitely. Still no one ever died from wounded pride…It has perhaps potential to be a fatal hit to a heart that loves completely. Or so I would have thought. But as it turns out this heart of mine is tougher then it seems. Able to bear a blow like this and rise again. Not taken out by worst fears realised.

Most definitely there’s been damage. Abundant tears cried to wash the burning ache and soothe the scar.But scar tissue is stronger then the flesh surrounding.This isn’t this hearts first round in the ring . It’s been through more then one rough beating and stood up against the odds before.

Ive learnt that courage not to fear the dark but resolve to face it armed with light makes surviving victorious these rounds an easier task.

We are promised a life complete with troubles. Hard is inevitable.Tragedy will strike ,hearts will break and none of it seems fair.This is the rich tapestry of our human existence. There’s no escaping it.

The secret Ive learned is to steady myself enough to survive the impending storm.Placing my back against something steadfast and praying for gritt enough to hold on tight.Weather the blows and hold strong to the knowing that hearts achieve restoration with time if they are empowered to forgive and even messy endings birth new beginnings full of possibility.

Space ,grace and time hold healing powers of their own and even a desolate season will run its course eventually. Nothing earthly is forever, tomorrow always comes until it doesn’t and hope when realigned with faith and heavens plan is never really lost.

So while I stand on shifting sands. . unstable as I am. . . between heartache and closure there is joy here amongst the pain. As eras end and dreams are buried..new ideas of adventure sow seeds deep and take root in this cracked earthen heart.Watered with tears of grief, prayers for grace and vows to live more fully from here on out.

The contrast shows the value of time. The importance of savouring it all.I notice and soak in the moments now that I have long overlooked and find in them reprieve enough to keep on walking.Allowing dreams and glorious ideas to take hold, sprout root or wing and follow where they lead.

Thankful for the outpouring of love from hearts of friends and family that once I held at distance. Grateful for their arms of grace that catch me when I trip,fill my glass and heart a fresh and breath connection back into this isolated space .

Hope for light filled memories, opportunities to really live.Embracing the ache is I’ve learnt the only way to recover freedom lost. The contrast is life-giving. A lesson to priceless to explain that must be felt to be truly understood.

So in this space of reckoning… In the messy middle hours… I am thankful for this walk. This undoing. This ache has taught my eyes to see new things. To walk in truth more boldly then I did before.

When you’ve walked worst fears and to your surprise survived there is little to hold you back at boundary lines of life.

Courage spreads her wings and calls to the deep in me..take flight there’s a world to see. Imagination and daydreams beckon stirring excitement at the possibilities of a life fully lived . Adventures promise illuminates, its contagious giggle is heard again in the garden in little voices playing louder….Joy circles back again flooding in and life is in stark contrast. Messy, broken beautiful all at once.

Prism

It seems with all that has been lost of late some years have fallen away too. Heavy taxing years that brought weight to these shoulders and creases to this brow vanish into thin air.

Age it seems is running in reverse as the clock ticks backwards and lost hopes are revived from the ashes of a hefty existence.

The grey that wove itself like a blanket all across our world has dissolved into a rush of technicolour. The limits I had, in absent-minded slumber, accepted for my life are peeled back one by one being found counterfeit with every layer.

Tears still come, but less frequent now. Traumas raw edges smooth with time and strength takes griefs seat at the table when given space enough.

Discipline to harness the overwhelms of a runaway mind is being developed. Now those tormenting thoughts are captured before they get loose enough to cause much damage.

This heart still holds the shadow of memory …it always loved, but hearts are easily deceived …infatuation it seems resembles love to a faithless unlearned heart ….as much as lies resemble truth to one that seeks to believe it so.

Naivety is no longer an option but in the raw light of realities presence, the world comes to life again. Rainbow possibilities dance like light through prisms across this new years dawning.

Dreams once cherished but long since passed over spring back into the realms of possibility. A second chance to live again without the sacrifice of freedom, of identity … Visions of tomorrow dance before my eyes weaving patterns that shift and change in a kaleidoscope of mesmerising colour. My breath catches in my chest as prayers are lifted higher.

Id never pick this for our story. I hate the disfunction of the journey.The ache in their eyes often more then I can stand …..but the independence is heaven-sent. Provision in its truest form.Sweet silver linings to a bitter onslaught.

While we are it seems destined for struggle…I have learnt that pain has a purpose .. And when I trust long nothing is wasted. Sometimes heartbreak is the making of us .. wherein shackles are removed and voices refined.

This fire that was sent to destroy this heart only served to temper it. Strength is found surprisingly within the expression of vulnerability. Integrity birthed from raw honesty.Freedom stirs from the seeds of surrender.

To embrace the process instead of fear it… This is the secret I have struggled to learn.

While this sole rages still at the injustice of it all..the foolish wastefulness that discards a life, a family that was long fought hard for…The spirit stirs within breathing oxygen back into tomorrow. Promising hope and second chances.

To really live, love and be loved in return. To seek adventure freely. To connect completely without shame and secrets holding this heart back at the boundary lines. Freedom to lift a voice, a heart heavenward not caring for anyone’s approval nor bracing against their disdain.

Our world is alive with colour…it bathes the heavy-hearted ache and washes it in glorious light infusing hope as it swirls around the corners of our home.

Joy follows behind. .. Slowly she washes back into their laughter. They dream again. Play again. Exhale less laboured than before.

The weight is lifting and the world has opened up again as it was once before me long ago. Unchained, transformed and We are free.

Rewrite

Silence.. Its been ages since silence was welcome..

I used to crave the nightshift hours when my love worked late and the little ones were in bed… Or those early mornings before dawn peaked her head around the night skies blanket and all the world still slept.

But in this season of shifting and shaking I have hated still, hated alone , hated late night pondering and early mornings.Much prefering to fill our days with busyness and head to bed with the kids…

Two little hearts are still sleeping along side me to ward off the darker dreams that haunt their overstretched minds triggered by heartbreak that’s beyond their capacity to really grasp.

Company breathes security and I’ve avoided solitude these last long months in case the very act of being still might trigger an avalanche of reality that Im doing my best to only glance at just as much as necessary to make it through.

This love story went wrong. Failed… Fell short..and my heart turned to dust with its demise.

And here we are on shifting sands trying to find our footing.

Somewhere though amongst the ache there is new strength being laid down adding its layer to the foundations laid in other struggles…other dark roads we’ve walked before.

Tonight the stillness beckons,friendly and inviting. Tonight solitude doesn’t intimidate but is a welcome friend..a sanctuary again. A place to gather thoughts and breathe and words flow freer then they have been for quite some time .Like fresh seas rushing into sunbaked sand ,its a welcoming reprieve.

This chapter seems to be of a carousel that we are riding.. Round and round and up and down.. It seems we never progress…. But rides don’t last forever. Seasons change. Pages turn and new beginnings are begun.

New dreams are being sowed within and colour sneaks its way back around the corners of this mind.

I begin to truly lift my gaze beyond what’s in front of me and dream of new adventures.New spaces,new people, new places.Dreaming of the rewrite of this lifes book.

The story of my life that I had felt so secure in, the narrative I held is gone now.. and coupled contrastingly beside the devasting heartache is a whimsical sense of mystery. Of a chance to re-write a better story.. one with adventures to out way traumas, one with so much laughter it rivals the tsunami of tears. One with a glorious ending.

I don’t know where this story will go.. Im not even sure what happens next when I turn the page.. But I do know know this in between space isn’t the end..just a plot twist before the next adventure.. and I’m confident this re-write will have a happier ending.

Nameless.

Endless cycles of broken and breaking only to scar and tear and scar again. Layer upon layer upon layer upon layer and there’s no escape from the torment. The demons won’t leave. No peace. No safe space… Guarded hidden behind a wall of lies.. Fakery the only language. Life devoid of hope.. Devoid of living water. No refreshment.

Empty business fills the days and the sweat of labor is squalled away in all the inbetween hours. Nights are filled with numbing and distraction that pulls down deeper darker…its blackness intoxicates and consumes.. Contrasted only by bright empty eyes and flashy false smiles that scream as they seduce with empty promises of fulfillment, and satisfaction .To have it all… To hold excess. ..but they steal more then they give robbing life with every round. Draining a soul dry…

Battered and bruised by the work of own hands. Unconscious self-sabotage…drags under again. Like a black hole it consumes all around .. Promising to devour..decite has hold in its ice-cold grasp … And it must be a welcoming space I think .. better than the endless fighting of conscious.To proud to reach out. To ashamed to seek help.No recognition of truth amoung lies .

And here we are.. Life stopped short. Can a trauma be a saving grace?

Can this hell bring healing?

Does destruction herald restoration? Can so many broken hearts be healed?

Can a shattered life, family find grace for the new day?

Cause in this space of blackness. Of the darks cold breath down ones neck it seems that all is lost forever.

Truth is messy. But this mess is said to promise freedom?

And I don’t see how but I’m beginning to understand.. Heaven has loved me and loaned me his eyes to view the unlovely with glorious insight.

The stripping of secrets..Now only serve to dig the other deeper. No way to stop truths explosion.

Undoing is grace?

My eyes now opened. . . No longer held spell bound in a fantasy of falseness.

Heart break is grace?

This madness… Insanity. Absence of logic and kindness is freedom somehow as it makes the letting go easier..the absence sweeter still .

But this I don’t understand. Is there freedom in madness? Is insanity a reprieve? does it hold promise too or is this blackness exposed in all its filth?

And I begin to grasp that the only way to unstick us from the others demise was to shatter it all..to tear it apart exposing the darkness..we couldn’t save ourselves so heaven intervened.

And somehow in the unsticking of this other, we become free. Eyes wide open. Life exposed, false reality shattered and there is freedom here.

Can trauma hold healing? Can this chaos be blessed and produce fruit? Is destruction life-giving?

And all I know is what I see and what I see with eyes of heaven is divine hands holding us. Leading us… Dirty broken hurting us. He walks us through and breathes grace..intertwining us with love working it all for good.

Here hope lies waiting… When the anger wanes. When I loosen my grip on the ache..hope draws breath.

This is a year of restoration,and while in no way does it look like I thought it would ,he is a God of his word.

Mess

For a long time I’ve held my tongue ..then one day not so long ago our world came undone …..

How do I do this… Hold my head up and walk in faith? For the longest time I’ve held disappointments hand… I know the valleys well.

Well trodden paths of heartache and loneliness. I’ve survived on scraps of affection between round after round of tear down . All the while believing a new dawn was coming…I stayed the course. Honoured my vows.

Believed and held firm to the promises given… and now here I am.

Betrayed. Sinking.

Fear creeps closer as the rage that’s not my own echos through the atmosphere unhinged it lingers threatening .Hope and trust is shattered again and again … the weight of this life and all its responsibilities cave in on me. My hands are empty and trembling. Feet stand on borrowed ground. Nothing is certain and stability forgotten.

There are 4 little hearts in tow too and I just don’t know how to navigate this… So many voices. Opinions. Instructions. A to-do list that threatens to destroy any remaining sanity. … No peace to get quite. No space to be still. except in these long night shift hours…

But I’m so tired.

I’ve let my heart harden in self-protection ..put my desires and dreams to bed.

Disgust fills the space that once loved deep… Shame ,in my foolishness of not reading the cues, weaves a cloak that hangs heavy off my shoulders.

I can’t even pray as I used to.. words feel empty and echo in this in-between space… Even tears are better than numb..but here I am.. Allowing numb so I can function. Something I swore I’d never do again.

I don’t like the girl this walk is creating. Faith falls flat as the risk of holding it seems too much to bear.

And I don’t even know what I want.. The dream is now unbelievably tainted. Hope seems poison.

Friends who should have held our hearts and warned us of the impending storm didn’t… Integrity is a lost art it seems .

And these 4 little hearts are shattered.

Childhood done with at lightening speed. And I’m to broken to hold them in the way they need most.

I can’t stop the onslaught. I can’t stem the incoming tide. Each encounter breaking the ties that connect them a little more. The bonds that are precious so willfully frayed and he does not see or is it care enough for them and I can’t stop it.

My words are hollow. Shallow comfort to their aching bones. . .

Betrayed, lied too, let down, again and again, and again.

This mess less glorious than ever before… At the end of myself.

I crave dream free sleep. To switch off and not exist for as long as it takes for this season to pass. This is the valley of death. Its dark here..no air.

Where is my rescuer?.my breakthrough?

Always on time? Ever faithful? Always good?

No, my faith isn’t missing. Not lost in this storm… Just my capacity to rise..the buoyancy that’s carried me through so much thus far is ebbing… My fight is empty..halfhearted and vague… Bitterness sneaks around the corners of my mind and I am jaded.

This is not who I want to be. This all-consuming ache will not be the definer of my story.

I tell myself it’s only a chapter..the page will turn soon. There’s more to this life then this valley… I long for mountaintop views. Stability. Freedom…to live life not balanced on the rare good grace of tyrannical other but to be free to write my own ending.

To lift these 4 little hearts high and show them the world. I crave adventure…freedom and light. Its been dark for so long.. Surely the turnaround is overdue?

Surely enough of the trauma. I’ve kept my end still. Still stand, still honour, Still trust. But I need to breathe and oxygen is missing … When will this end ?How much more can a broken heart take before it withers entirely? Feels like a final blow to end a long season of being hammered.

The highs and lows are never seen coming and change so very quickly I can’t keep up… Being thrown around like a rag doll is taking its toll.

I’m told I’m strong. But strength isn’t knowing how to roll with the punches. I see stupidity maybe as I keep getting up and placing heart in the ring…..

And then somehow truths explosive appearance comes unsought and unexpected again and I am undone.

But once the rage explodes through me making victims of memories then settles again I find new freedom in this in-between…

Maybe each increment of ground walked is a slow and steady path to freedom?

As groans of ache give way to a lionesses growl and the intimidation and shame I wrongly carried slips off my shoulders , I even now already seem to stand a little taller. A little more steady…

Feet more sure, Heart ready to push back the bully out of our way… Not willing to be shut down, silenced or intimidated any longer.No Im done with fear.

Taking back the right to live free starts with owning the truth.

No more shame… No more hidden ache. It’s out for all the world to see.

And here I find the strength to see through eyes of faith that in whatever we lost holds nothing in comparison to what’s to come.

Broken

I’m in the Emergency Department in a 4-bedded room partitioned with long grey curtains … I followed the ambulance here that came to collect my dad.

Dad is in a lot of pain… and despite the buzz in here, everything is moving frustratingly slowly.

The bed beside us has a lady. She is my mother’s age. Short brown-grey hair with magenta streaks and slippers with holes in the toe. She has come in because she blacked out and fell splitting her head open. She blacked out because she has a drug addiction … Endone… Oxycontin and whatever else she can manage to swing a script for. There was a valid reason she started down this road. A fall left her damaged..but now she’s hooked. The meds have swallowed her up. She’s crying because her partner has left in a huff. Probably over it. She fell just now trying to get out of bed and is so high she can’t stand properly or speak in full sentences … She’s got this high pitched breathy cry…Like a soft wail from someone who’s totally given up the fight.No light in those eyes… Bloodshot red-ringed melancholy. Sunken behind heavy lids. The social worker notices a slit across her wrist. The lady doesn’t know how it got there.

In the bed across from her is a diabetic lady. My age or maybe a little older.Pretty rounded face. Dark skin. She’s hooked up to something pumping life back into her arm and is silently resting in the bed. Her feet are visible between the gap in the curtains… One shoe on, one off. Her toes on the barefoot are swollen and there are sores visible around the nails. The nurses ask her when she last checked her sugar levels? Her feet? How is her diet? She can’t remember. She doesn’t bother with that stuff. She’s vacant and distracted. I wonder if she realizes what she’s risking by not paying attention? Or maybe she doesn’t care? Shes a frequent flyer here it seems.

The next bed held an old homeless man. Somewhat deaf. Incontinent, no shoes… Cellulitis, gangrene and coming off a high…His legs were thinner than my 7-year-olds. No shoes. No shirt. It is cool out tonight. I wonder if anyone is missing him? He hurts a lot…I know this cause he moaned a lot… He’s gone now moved to another bed.

A man my father’s age has slid into his spot. Well dressed but unkept. He is chatty but slurring heavily. Hes had a night of binge drinking. He is an epileptic and has had several seizures since being brought in …..when he is conscious he tries hard to sweet talk the nurses…They all know him it seems. Perhaps this is a regular Midweek evening for him? The nurses are kind and respectful. But when they leave his expression shifts to one of blank emptiness…More dark eyes.

Another hour passes and this beds resident changes again. This time a man a little older than me. Bone cancer. He is here because he has server pain…He’s also an epileptic..a drug addict and homeless. His “friends” stole his pain meds and seizure meds so he’s been a few days without them… and judging by the look of it its been even longer between a bed and a meal. He asks the nurses to please leave the lights on and not pull the curtains, he is afraid of the dark. He needs tranquilizers to sleep and fights the heavy eyes until the medications kick in and he’s out cold, unconscious but it doesn’t last long. These are the darkest eyes in this place. He holds my gaze once or twice before looking away. I see the darkness that he fears isn’t caused by the night outside but the haunting that’s happening inside his mind. He cuts a ghoulish figure. All angles, and no color. It is hard to believe there is life there at all. Just a boney frame draped in the white hospital blanket.

Then there’s Dad. We came in at just the right time. He went down quickly. They have taken blood and the usual barrage of testing that leukemia patients are given when they have a crisis. The tests have been sent to the lab and now we wait. It took 2 hrs for the pain relief to take the edge off enough so he could lay still and he has finally stopped vomiting unless he has to move and then it starts again. The last two bags were stained brown and red. He saw and tried to tell me it was the lamb he ate yesterday so I wouldn’t worry… But it’s blood and stomach lining. His temps up a bit but the fluids are running now and while its buzzing in here with machines and nurses exhaustion wins and he has finally fallen into a light sleep. Only to be woken by screaming in the next cubicle along.

A young girl screams and then two men’s voices and running footsteps fill the air as the cavalry arrives. It seems her boyfriend has flipped. The drugs override his humanity and he lashed out a stabbed a security guard. He’s screaming now as they struggle to restrain him. He screams that he is a victim. He needs water. He’s having a stroke- according to him, he can’t breathe. But yet can still scream for what feels like close to an hour ..promises not to spit on them again.. Just “please let me go” he begs over and over. Oh God, please don’t let them untie him!

She, the girl, is sobbing onto the shoulder of a nurse who consoles her. She is very young and looks pregnant but I could be mistaken. I want to tell her to run. Leave and don’t look back. She’s scared of her man that’s easy to see. A lot of us are tonight as he rages and rants. For someone who is breathless, he’s sure got some lungs.

They decide to keep dad in and call upstairs for a bed. More tests and scans. He will stay in this place until a bed opens up on the ward. That might not be until tomorrow.

I stay a little longer.

It’s pushing 3 am now and my car is a billion miles away in the carpark. Dad insists I go and get some sleep. I’m told I’ll need an escort to my car but I’ll have to wait a while as security is “busy” out front. “Best stay inside a bit longer,” they say.

Security stays busy and two wardsmen are asked to take me out the back way. I ask these men if this is the norm. “It is” they reply. They are eager to share the frustrations with me. The guard who was stabbed tonight was attacked last week too. This hospital, a Cancer Center, is also the home for Mental health and toxicology. The demand on the ED vast outways its resources and the staff bear the brunt of the issues.

I drive home in the early morning hours. The streets are empty save a few rough sleepers and I’m weighed down by the helplessness I feel for my father and the dark eyes that held mine tonight. This is my definition of hell… A place without hope, a total absence of light….and I wonder how this story ends? How do you inject hope into hopelessness… What’s the solution?

More money? Will more awareness and a better funding packet be enough to rescue this humanity? Has it ever been enough before?

What drives us to chase escape? What lie do we believe so wholeheartedly that it consumes us until there is nothing left? What is it that blinds our eyes and seals our hearts closed to each other’s plight. Each to their own..no hand to hold to pull us through and up and out again.

What has to be broken in us for us to accept this as all there is? Dark eyes hold no hope of freedom, no escape.

I won’t accept this fate. This lie that says this is all life holds. That we can’t change our fate or even change our very stars.

There is more. I know this. I’ve walked these halls before and even amongst the darkness tasted and seen the beauty that calls us to come out of the shadows. The whisper that calls us by name to hunt down that light that will chase out our dark.

The only way to beat this hopelessness is with hope itself. To overrun darkness with light.

To walk as light bearers arms stretched out wide. All-embracing, outrageously loving…to offer hands of grace to the falling and speak life over the graves.

I’ve realized that courage to brave foolishness is what’s required..its not steely resolve but surrended vulnerability that breeds connection…births hope .

Hope is a life raft that promises a better tomorrow.Love is the only ransom that buys back the stolen.

Autumn…

Midday sun is warm on my face and the wind whips high around the tops of the trees that line our garden spilling rust and gold colored autumn leaves down to the earth.

The garden is getting ready to sleep. The autumn flowers are showcasing their last sprays of color in rich abundance and the citrus trees are slowly turning from green to vibrant orange. Dragonflies fill the space between the falling leaves and the wind howls high painting a soundtrack to my afternoon.

Why do I love autumn so much? Maybe it’s the lower UV levels… It’s becoming safer for our shade seeker to play longer outside.

Or maybe it’s just the way this country life showcases the changing seasons. Coastal life doesn’t mark the changing of seasons so well as this place.No, palm trees, and golden sandy beaches hold nothing against the seasonal contrasts that can be found in the country.

Here warm house fires burn and the smell of winters approach fills the air. Long nights fireside.Marshmallows… Savoring hot cuppas accompanied by long conversations on the sun deck is my favorite pass time.

I’ve learned that change is good. Blessed even.

I didn’t always feel this way. The prospect of change filled me with dread. The unknown has a way to undo one’s composure sowing anxiety into the heart. Change is uncomfortable, to say the least.

But no… I long for change. I welcome it in with open arms. New beginnings with old accomplices. A different adventure. Who wants to stay stuck? Never moving from season to season. Never growing, becoming. Who wants to put in the work but not bear witness to the fruit of their labor? No, change is good.

Change is growth. Labor pains whilst inherently painful and difficult to bear give birth to new life and blessing. Growing is painful. The uncertainty that floods in with new ideas feel unstable until it takes root. So in the seasons of wobble filled with the aches of uncertainty I’m learning to hold tight to the hope that the season will change. The pain will give way to new adventures. I’m learning to trust the processes that lead me out of one place and into another.

Like long summer days fading into cool autumn nights…I welcome the winter with its frozen mornings and the wonder on the girls faces as they sprint across the yard their breath all icy fog and frost covered grasses crunching audibly underfoot.

Change is good. Blessed even.

Collectables

 

 

I am a sentimental with an artistic bent. That is to say, I have a habit of collecting stuff. Treasures/ junk, call it what you will. I can’t help but fall in love with rusty sweet tins and vintage linens. I become emotionally attached to old canvas duffle bags and retro kitchen wears that perhaps evoke the thought,’ My nanna had one like that.’

This habit of collecting however isn’t limited to just things .It applies keenly to memories, moments, people . This is a blessing but can also be to my detriment. Some of these collectibles are more than just a little dusty and dinted.

The same desire that sees me dreaming of repurposing old tins and restoring vintage sewing machines has me pining away after other old and broken, damaged things.

I hoard regrets like antiques I’m duty bound to keep. ‘If only ‘ has played as a soundtrack to this life on more then one occasion reverberating shame into the atmosphere…. If only I didn’t. if Only I did. If only it was different. I should have, could have .If only I could take it back, undo it, rewrite it……you get the idea.This theme song drenches the air with frustration raining on my solid ground turning it to mud and I become stuck.

What about those relationships that have become in need of a refurb? Shared history is a formidable tether. After all there’s beauty in the worn and weathered, and doesn’t everything in life deserve a second chance? Everybody always is an aspiration I’ve long held dear. But is this wisdom I wonder.

I guess its wisdom that separates a collector from a hoarder. To know when to let go. There is most certainly a knack to fixing up. Learning when the restoration is beyond my capability when the job is meant not for my hands is something I’m slowly beginning to understand. Its a lesson in honesty really, knowing my limits.A master class in letting go.

Some treasure weighs us down. I’ve learned that there is freedom in goodbye.Holding onto some hearts and some memories only serve to pull us under. Holding on can equal staying stuck. I’ve realized that it takes more then my best intentions to see rebirth. While there are times my capabilities are sufficient for the task at hand there are others when they simply won’t do. When keeping my hands off and handing it over is the only way. Sometimes holding on is not helpful but even detrimental to the piece, damaging to my own heart and the heart Id try to salvage

In the effort to avoid the hoarder’s mistake I seek wisdom to know what is for me and the grace to let go of the rest.

Sometimes those second chances were never mine to give. Those regrets whilst perhaps valid were never meant to be kept and carried but rather a lesson learned in season and then let go. Forgiveness is hard. Forgiving yourself the hardest of all.

I seek the courage to let go of the yesterdays and embrace the new beginning.To be content with bittersweet. To forgive me, move on and through and always look ahead.

I preach this to myself on days when nostalgias grip threatens to undo my progress. Eyes up! Don’t look back for long after all you’re not going that way. I’ve noticed the lighter load makes forward motion easier.

Whilst I’ll always be a sentimental… The collected is slowly but surely being refined until only the treasure and none of the junk remains.

 

This little light …

It’s pitch black out tonight and we are late getting home. There are no street lights out here to light the way. The darkness cloaks the landscape like a blanket.We come up over the rise and the light beam from the headlights cuts through the night. The shadows rush away as light fills the space they once stood.

This is how I want to live my life. I long to live in the light,absorbing that glow and carry it with me everywhere. Even into the dark places especially the dark places. After all, dark cannot remain when light shines bright. The inky blackness is forced to surrender to the illumination.

But what if the darkness exists within taking up space where light should reside?What about fear? Unbeckoned it fills the empty places smothering the hope for tomorrow.

The ache of not being enough, not belonging.Of failing them. The haunting terror of medical prognosis. The dread of not having enough to make ends meet. These fears play like reruns ..a lingering side effect of days gone by when provision was thin and hope just as sparse. These were days weighed down by the dark.

And what of the doubts? Faith is hard to stand on when a contrasting reality stares unblinkingly back at you. Endless ‘What ifs’ ring loudly through this mind because what I see is in conflict with what I want to believe. I want the light .. but all I see are Shadowlands.

What about the hurts? I wonder how much of a beating can one heart take? Can my heart take, before it gives up ..falls casualty to this flawed reality?

I’ve carried a shattered heart before. Juggling all its jagged edges, hands bleeding from the shards while trying to patch it back together and work out how to avoid the same again. I became warden to my own failing heart. Keeping it close, under guard, tethered and restrained.How else is one to avoid the pain. I’ve taken the time to construct the walls even dug the moats needed to keep my heart from harms reach.

I became an expert at camouflage…a mask can hide a million scars ..nothing fits so well as an engineered smile and like a pro I excelled at the dance.Gave my everything except this heart. Never to be vulnerable but always untouchable. Never to be burnt again.

But high walls, masks, and what-ifs serve only to dim the light further.Allowing the darkness to gain ground and in the blackness, I become more afraid of what I can’t see. Im claustrophobic here… breathless and suffocated. Alone despite the crowd. My own fortress is now my gilded cage.

I want to love outrageously. Live uninhibited. Dream big and run fearlessly headlong into tomorrow. This is difficult to achieve when one is walled in and distracted with playing pretend.I’ve learned that safe comes at a price.The cost, a life half lived.

No this isn’t for me… the cost, this one life, is to great a price to pay for preservation.

Light, I’ve found, holds its own promise. Light is life to the fullest.

In pursuit of this, I’ve learned to tear down the walls, take off the mask. Silence the inner chatter. I trade the pretense for honesty in all its flawed beauty. Vulnerability once a foe is now my friend. I become a builder of bridges. I risk this heart to feel alive again and let this little light shine out bright.

And I’ve found that just like my drive home when this light shines true the clearer my road ahead becomes and further the darkness recedes. Clarity and truth are gifts of the light. Direction is easier to find when I can see the road that lays ahead.No more do I stumble blinded by the dark.

Light leaves nothing hidden. It ushers in truth. Light is unquenchable in its desire to shine.If allowed it floods in pushing the darkness out.Leaving freedom in its wake.

I’m left vulnerable, maskless, honest and alive …not afraid of what I can’t see as my focus remains only on where the light leads. Distractions like shadows melt away. The light brings purpose.

My world has come alight, my life follows suit. Far from perfect but complete in its imperfections. The dark doesn’t scare me now. Light has come melting my defenses and chasing that consuming blackness away. On those days where the mask is appealing and the what-ifs beckon, I’m learning to focus this light, silence that noise and not take the bait.