a longer Lover

Mornings when the alarm wakes you from a dream of grief so poignant that you shrink from the waking world, bent over your pillow for a moment: Father, I can’t. Father, help me.

Honeysuckle grows thick in the fence-rows and the trees — I’ve only begun to notice it, and already it yellows. You smell it before you see it; a welcome change from the aroma of Bartlett Pear blossoms a month ago.

P1040248 - Version 2It’s the end today: a semester finished, and students going out exulting in The Beginning of Summer. I wish them well, but am sad at their going, no longer mine.

Bird-parents with bird-children as large as themselves populate the out-of-doors, life for them a frantic rush to fill the demanding mouths, push the babies into the world. In this eager fulfillment of their own creation mandate — “let birds multiply on the earth” — perhaps there will even be a second hatching of birds before the fall.

From the library, I checked out a book of poetry for myself, because sometimes poetry is the thing. And today it was, with Luci Shaw’s “Highway Song for Valentine’s Day,” though it isn’t Valentine’s Day:

        I’m listening for a longer Lover,
        whose declaration lasts forever:

        from field and flower, in wind and breath,
        in straw and star, by birth and death,

        his urgent language of desire
        flickers in dew and frost and fire.

It takes attention, to hear it: all creation screaming the glory of this love, and me so often blinded by my wantings. (I read in Numbers of Israelites who were buried at Kibroth-hattaavah, which means “graves of craving,” and I do not want to be buried there, too.)

But sometimes a day can turn within five minutes of sitting on a bench under a tree, grief giving way to gladness under the pressure of a day in which goodness and mercy have followed me and gone ahead of me.

He makes beautiful.


©2014 by Stacy Nott

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