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Elves in the Trees

I read The Hobbit/Lord of the Ring books when I attended college (the first time). I parked off-campus in an established residential area with beautiful tree-lined streets. I always believed there were elves in the trees.

A few months ago I marathoned The Lord of the Ring movies. Of course, I’m talking the extended versions. I think I watched 16-18 hours of the struggle between good and evil, industrialization against the natural world, as well as elves fighting orcs. I loved it.

The backgrounds in various scenes were inspired by the beautiful artwork of the Hildebrandt brothers. They have brought to life many of Tolkien’s characters. Their work is exquisite.

I was reminded of the incredible imaginations not only of Tolkien’s Middle Earth but also of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia. I think that if God inspired these men to write of such fantastic worlds and species; what has God been doing?

I believe there are wonders more glorious than we could ever dream. There might even be a few orcs in the mix. Of course, they would be vegetarians and would have visited the dentist.

No one knows for sure, so I think I have a good argument.

I think there will be elves in the trees.

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Let Me Not Be Afraid

What if I said to you
“I will not let go?”

I will not let go
until I receive that
unspeakable gift?

You, who have known
me from the Beginning.

You know my heart.

Wash me and I will
be whiter than snow.

Let me not doubt You
like Much-Afraid
let me build altars
and sacrifice all to you.

Knowing you have
only good for me.

Let me not be afraid.

The End of the Year

I usually spend the end of December reflecting on the year. However, this year has been different. Every day has brought some degree of reflection, fear, and a few tears.

This year has brought some good experiences. I have received notes and visits from wonderful friends and family members who have encouraged me. Some are even strangers: my sister’s co-workers as well as members of her church. The most touching was an envelope of hand-made cards from a children’s group at my sister’s church. The purity of their comments and faith were difficult to read through the tears.

I have no idea what 2013 holds for me. In spite of the terrors(real and imagined), I know I am not alone. Yes, it is my struggle; living in a body that has decided to cease responding to my wishes. Regardless, I know someone has me on their mind or in their prayers every single day.

Thank you for being my friends; even those I’ve never met.

Peace and Blessings

Janet

The Last Look

In the past year our parents’ house has been emptied, painted, and soon will be sold. My sister has dealt with the nuances of these changes.

Every time she and her husband stayed at the near-empty house she would go through the house opening every door, closet door, and light…even the basement. Perhaps she was looking for something or someone.

The house is the only house she remembers as home. I remember the previous house as well as the apartment that is home to my first memories.

We spent time at Thanksgiving reliving my wedding reception held at our house; both of us walking out of our bedrooms in our wedding gowns. Further back…our first dog and riding our bicycles up and down the street. Our dad’s yearly gardens where the green beans, tomatoes and zucchinis grew to epic and legendary proportions.

The house is now empty. Brenda left the house last week for the last time.

Another family will celebrate their first Christmas in the house this year.

It is end of forty-five years of residence by our family.

The house may be gone to us, but the memories are forever…

Prairie Magic

Hot, dusty Texas day.
No clouds to hide the glare
of the sun. No wind to sweeten
the air with the scent of flowers.

The small house is paint-bare
with a screen door that doesn’t
close.

Big, fat flies weave their way
in and out of the screen-less
windows.

She pushes the door open
balancing the laundry basket
on one hip and a baby on the other.

She checks for rattlesnakes
before setting the child down.

She wearily begins hanging
clothes on the line;
one broken and retied so many times
she can hardly find a spot
for a clothespin.

Her back is tired and her womb is
full again. She wonders why
she lets that man weave his magic.

Then she smiles to herself.
She remembers those quiet
moments when she is his
one and only.

As the last sock is offered up to
the harsh sun she surveys her work.
Without a breeze the clothes will dry
dry and stiff.

But she has some magic of her own.

She picks up the child and walks
back to the house.

She turns and whistles.
Not loud and commanding like
calling a dog.
But softly, as to a lover.

Slowly…the wind beckons to her
a breeze freshens the sheets like
sails swelling and filling with invisible
gusts.

The aroma of wildflowers from miles
are borne on the sweet breath of the wind.

She smiles, and walks back into the house.
It’s time to start dinner for that man
who makes her smile…

Daddy’s Lap

This poem is inspired by a passage in “Grace for the Good Girl,” by Emily P. Freeman. She believes that in the midst of grief there are no strong women of God. There is only brokenness, desperate need, and little girls on Daddy’s lap.

When I was little my daddy’s lap
was for hugs, comforts and tickles.
A place of solace when the world
became too much to bear.

One day I was too big to sit
with my arms around his neck;
covering his rough, scratchy cheeks
with countless kisses.

I still felt pain, heartaches
and disappointments.
But I had no where to go.
The one person who knew me
from the first day of my life
was gone.

One day the pain became so
intense I could not walk or
even think.
So much grief and self-doubt.
Who could help me?

My pain must be of my own doing.
I made mistakes that left
me without a safe place
free of condemnation.

Then, a gentle hand
touched my shoulder
and turned me away from the
mirror of self-inflicted disgrace.

A kind voice said, “Come to me,
and I will give you rest, for I
have known you since the beginning of Time.”

I believed the voice, and did the thing
I longed for.
I climbed up onto my
Daddy’s lap; wrapped my
arms around his neck
and cried.

The Boys of Summer

I am a big baseball fan. Being from Baltimore makes me an Orioles fan by birth. My dad and I went to a game at least once a year. It was always fun when he was off on Opening Day. We made the pilgrimage to Memorial Stadium to watch the O’s play the Milwaukee Brewers.

I have great memories of attending sporting events with family. Every Thanksgiving my uncle invited me along with other family members to attend the annual City-Poly game. Before the game my aunt made us Lipton’s Chicken Noodle Soup, as the weather was usually freezing. I was never that interested in the game although I loved the half-time show. After the game it was on to a relative’s home for dinner and fun.

This summer has been wonderful season for Orioles baseball. We ended up as a wild-card in the playoffs; losing to the New York Yankees in five games.

Baltimore still loves their Birds. Hundreds of fans waited at Camden Yards to welcome the team home from New York and thank them for a great season of baseball.

Fornow the bats of Baltimoris are silent.

Next year the boys of summer  and Orioles Magic will return.

Yep, yous gotta believe…Hons