Six hours into the longest
darkest night of the year,
more hours from
the reluctant dawn,
John turned his face to the wall
and breathed his last.
It’s three years this evening
since Dad died.
But I shall not spend the day
There’s a group of children
I shall visit
Taking Gabriel, Mary, Joseph,
and a donkey
To tell the story of new life
I set up a separate blog for posting my
family tree about three years ago but haven’t had
time lately to do anything with it.
You may have noticed I’ve not done all that much
with this one either!
But this morning I woke up thinking about this
picture that Mum embroidered for me back in 1990.
I wanted to post it on the Family tree blog but can’t fathom how to make it work! Talk about out of practice!
I did finally work it out – can be seen here.
The night is dark
All are asleep
Alone I face them
The demons, the gremlins
Who are these faceless creatures
Of the dark?
They tell me
I will die
That something bad
In my blood
Will get to me
Before my labours
Can bear fruit.
But there is another
Where darkness is soft
Where I step out boldly
For I am loved.
Is the hidden
Side of light
The womb of the dawn
Harbinger of hope
Assurance of eternity.
Once upon a time there was a cupboard full of toys. One shelf belonged to the cuddly toys, mostly old, worn and threadbare. There was a monkey with scratchy hands and a moth-eaten waist coat, a velvet elephant with a missing ear, a piglet with a missing arm, an assortment of bears and a cat whose whiskers had been pulled out.
A very small boy lived in the house. He had a favourite bear called Teddy. Teddy did not belong in the cupboard with the other bears; he, along with Woolly, the boy’s comfort blanket went everywhere with the boy.
At bedtime, the boy, Teddy and Woolly would go to the cupboard, collect the other cuddlies and, the boy’s arms overflowing, they would all make their way up the stairs to bed.
One evening as the boy struggled to place his short legs one in front of the other on the stairs, he wobbled a bit and the cat fell from the pile bouncing down the steps to land at the feet of his sister. She picked it up and tried to give it back to him. But he didn’t want it.
The girl was left holding this dropped, rejected thing. She didn’t want it; had never found a use for stuffed toys. But its rejection tugged at her heart and empathy welled within her. So she took it to her own bed. And there it stayed for years and years; recipient of her confidences, partaker of her hurts and disappointments, sharer in her hopeless dreams; emotional anchor holding her soul in place as she went about her daily life.
Until another claimed her soul and acceptance, not rejection, became the order of the day.
There is a lone daffodil bulb outside my kitchen window which doesn’t flower every year but it holds a special significance for me when it does.
‘The day of the daffodil’ is a phrase that reminds me not to worry unduly about job changes, career problems and the like: in due season things will work out, plans fall into place. Spring brings fresh hope and that daffodil in particular acts as a symbol of hope.
Last week it was there smiling at me, telling me not to be downhearted about a particular hiccup in life. Then a hard frost laid it low. I went out and propped it up with some nearby twigs. I wanted my daffodil smiling its hope. If the flower can stand up and carry on then I too can pick myself up and carry on.
All was well for a couple of days then the wind blew it out from the supporting twigs; I looked out the window and there was my beautiful, brave, bold flower back on the ground. This morning I went to the rescue again complete with a piece of string and tied it to the twigs. Brave and bold, my flower, and, viewed from the window, still beautiful, but close up the battering it has endured shows; the petals are damaged.
That particular flower will not recover but the plant will flower again; if not next year, then
maybe the year after. And in the meantime it is bold and bright.
My battered flower remains a symbol of hope.