Poetry

Life Here Is Not Only Madness

For whatever reason after I finally posted, A Mother in Warfare, I could not write any new words. Not really. I read through old work and edited an old poem making it better. But truly new words? New ideas? Not a thing. Perhaps due to a few things. Who can really tell? I have my suspicions. No one thing the sole culprit.

You can push through writer’s block fine enough, but this particular time (these days in general) didn’t seem like a time for pushing through. It seemed like a time for waiting. Just letting that absence of creativity lie dormant. Of not forcing beautiful words on a page. I had none, anyway. I was blank space.

But then my husband and I were in the garden with our son. He turns two this August and I’m already getting excited. I’ve been thinking of his birthday since I was early pregnant with our daughter. Birthdays light up my soul, I suppose.

And his is so special.

I can remember the anticipation I felt leading up to his birth. I can feel those long days of labor. Picking zinnias before going to the hospital (the first time, heheee). The laughter. How he felt on my chest in those first minutes. Bringing him home to sunflowers and our first walks in the garden holding him tiny in my arms. I was thrown into this kind of magic that hasn’t stopped. I’m getting carried away. Like I said. . .birthdays.

And more specifically the birthdays belonging to my children.

Well, anyhow, he’s almost two and that evening in the garden, we picked him a snow pea and showed him he could actually eat it. I hope I never forget his face. It will always be one of the sweetest things I’ve experienced earth-side. A moment so small and so big and beautiful. . .his realization that some things grown in the garden can be picked and eaten too.

And for me? I felt I could write again after that. I didn’t know what the words would be just then, but they would come soon. The following poem feels like a way forward after my latest, Even Mothers, Even Here.

So here we go. . .the words that came that evening after June snow peas in the garden.

Snow in June

after too much death

much too soon,

after wrestling with the words,

after all the words ran out,

after the Psalms ran on audio,

after nursing my daughter in

the dark of morning

afraid of lights out, life out,

of bad news down like

lightening,

I’m in the garden with my son.

he’s standing, loved, between us.

and he’s full smiling, hint of grinning,

we’re picking snow peas in June.

now height of morning light in evening

watching him taste and see

the fruit of our hope,

that this fruit even exists

that it can be for him. . .

not untouchable like the roses

not to save like the daisies

not to spare like the pink blossoms

. . .but to pick and eat,

its beauty in the tasting

its joy in the process.

eyes alight, its snow in June,

us right there with him.

fresh delight and nightfall soon. . .

life here is not only madness.

for I have also tasted,

and I have also seen.

the Lord, indeed, is good.

I’m not sure what I’ll write next or when. . .?

I’m in the days I can’t really explain.

I can imagine a mixture of postpartum, mothering two, shifting into a new camp season, wrestling with my fear of loss, trusting God with my whole being, and experiencing my faith deepen has life demanding my full attention without margin or capacity to write. I may be a solid two months past giving birth to my bright-eyed, wonderful Heidi, but I’m only a solid two months past. So there’s a lot still happening.

But Shasta is on his Y Bike in the bathroom batting his toddler hand at the dust particles floating in the morning sunlight.

And Psalms 16:8-9 upholds me in the night.

I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.

Heidi smiles at the drop of a hat.

Words will come again. The days sure do. I’m grateful for every single one.

So while I wait, grow, heal, learn, deepen and surrender, I think I’ll enjoy another snow pea in the garden this evening.

Poetry

I’ll Remember You For. . .

it was beautiful,
but unexpected.
and I’ll remember you for–

how the garden bent and broke,
then bloomed,
and how our small blue house
grew right where wildflowers
once were.

how life folded into gold
with wrinkles and stains,
with perfection and messes,
with our summer son turning one,
and our upcoming spring tapping
her baby feet on screen.

and how I crumpled up scared
running headlong into happiness,
but God! and His presence said,
You’re just as safe now
as you were back then.
Run! Run! Run!

so, I do.

and don’t they say,
“history repeats itself”?
and if all my life is always with God
I should know just my looking back
that I can run full speed ahead.

Happy New Year.
and by that I mean
I trust you, God.
Oh God, help me.
Yes, I will run!

-S.V.F.

photo credit: Hannah A. R. Stories

Garden Lullaby

Dead Things

Garden Lullaby, July 30, 2018

I spent Sunday evening pulling the dead things out of my porch garden. I tossed things that may prohibit the richness of life. My hands were gentle, but they were purposeful. I think I am like this basket…God keeps gently pulling out what’s already dead and lifeless so that I can be restored and rejoice in Him again. It feels painful, because it IS painful, but it also makes way for life.

And for the deep things which are hard and cannot be pulled from my flower pot no matter how often I go surrendered and confident to God’s throne, I rest in James 5:11, “Behold we consider those blessed who remain steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”

Job didn’t get it either, but that didn’t change the compassion and mercy of God. That didn’t change how Job would be restored in His relationship with God before ever seeing earthly relief and blessing. God’s purpose for me is not vain and will not cause me shame. I kneel down! I stand tall! I rejoice!

Be bold here, because it is here God makes beauty, it is here He will restore you. And sometimes all that happens here is the biggest miracle of all…surpassing any blessing, any gift!


 

Fall Apart Loudly, poem

Mirage, poem from Hope Gives a Eulogy

No Children, No Hesitation, poem

infertility · Poetry

Lest I Forget

lest I forget
it was sorrow,
but closeness with you.
it was grief,
but joy in your Presence.
it was heartache,
but bound-up wounds.
it was silence,
but not from You.

lest I forget
I was cradled
right from the grave
to the garden
under the darkness,
but the canopy of stars
is what I remember
the most.

breathing in broken air,
but just breathing
was the miracle there.
and it was flowers
and Novembers,
and pink skies,
summer nights
where Your blessing
took over my life
and I was crying
and laughing
and breathing
and longing
and it was beautiful
lest I forget!

-S.V.F.

(photo taken in 2019 months before getting pregnant with our firstborn, on the brighter side of healing. Thank you, God❤)