My 96 year old mother
dozes in her chair
toast half eaten on the tray.
Frost last night,
morning sun streams
through icy windows.
Outside gnarly cedar
when did it get so big?
like a heavy old quilt.
The dog stirs, turns on his side,
inhales deeply, exhales long and slow.
snatches of conversation,
four dogs romping in the backyard,
mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie –
twinkle, ignite, and go out
on the mind’s firmament.
Only twenty eight days ‘til Christmas.
No rush here. No need to shop.
In the house on Madison Street,
whatever it was we thought we needed, or must do
has given way to being,
to watching leaf shadows dance on the brown grass
and peering long into the deep blue sky.
This is a revised version of a blog previously posted in 2009.
Keep your eye out for holiday Still Life works of art
My mother, who died in 2012 was raised as a Quaker on a farm near Salem, Iowa. Here are a few words from Thomas Kelly, American Quaker mystic, to put on your refrigerator door to help you not miss the tender, mild moments of grace unfolding right before your eyes.
This amazing simplification comes when we center down, when life is lived with singleness of eye, from a holy center, where breath and stillness of Eternity are heavy upon us and we are wholly yielded to Him.
Some of you know this holy, recreating center of eternal peace and joy and now live in it day and night. Some of you may see it over the margin and wistfully long to slip into that amazing center where the soul is a home with God. Be very faithful to that wistful longing. It is the Eternal Goodness calling you to return home, to feed upon green pastures and walk beside still waters and live in the peace of the Shepherd’s presence. It is the life beyond fevered strain.
We are called beyond strain to peace and power and joy and love through abandonment of self. Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion