Dear Miss Lavender,
I’ve just come back inside after an evening meander. The sun is bloodshot; red and angry as it reflects the wildfires it sees gathering across the prairie lands. The rest of the sky is calm and hazy and silver. Its telling a story, I think, and we can only see one page of it.
I haven’t been too good about reading poetry lately, Lavender, but recently a subscription found me, and now I have in my possession the July/August, Volume 2018, Number 4 edition; the cover swathed in pink and purple lines with a little flying horse in the far right hand corner. The pages are filled up with plenty of personal grievances against race, pandemics, injustices and cultural war, but amidst it all, I found this little line:
“…..have you ever sat next to a person and known the home of your own name?” (Tennessee Hill, Driving Home from Keyworth’s)
There are few who can do that for you; bring you home to yourself while you sit, unblinking and unthinking that you are where you are. I’ve had a few of those experiences lately, Lavender. They are rare ones to be had in a lifetime, and so, having a few of them feels like a lifetime supply of diamond treasures. I hope that I can be this for others; that I can help people hear their own name, bringing them home to something that is part of themselves. Wouldn’t you?
I was reflecting on grace today as I walked. You could think of it like a continuous dribble of water that is unceasing and uncontained. Or sometimes, it’s a giant dam of water that refuses to be silenced and calmed. In any case, it’s unmerited and free. The air I breath tonight is full of the song of grace. Why a small creature such as I should be allowed this favor, this air, this life, this love, this beauty cannot be comprehended in the human mind. It reminds me of the saying, “what? all this and Jesus too?”
This week, I stood above the sheltered clusters of vibrant green trees, drank in the warm yellow sun, smelled pine and birch, watched silver stars shooting across the night sky, and felt complete peace and beauty in the stillness of an endless river.
All of this and Jesus too. All of this grace. Unmerited favor that lasts a lifetime, but unmerited favor that lasts beyond this lifetime into the next. This is truly grace.
I don’t know how you think about this grace, but I haven’t done anything to earn it. I haven’t reached, tried, suffered, labored, asked or cried hard enough to get it. It came for me, and was poured out on me freely and completely.
I’m popping open pistachios right now, and they are leaving a careless residue of husks behind them that mark my white sheets and make me feel like I need to take a shower. These are the unsalted kind and I must say, Lavender, you can have all the extras. Sodium has a firm and unabashed grip on my taste buds.
Well, it is getting late. The window is open finally, after weeks of it being too hot to stand at night. Tonight the window is open and the rush of tires can be heard, along with the occasional shriek of a siren or a loud neighbor.
Kiss the nighttime air of the country for me, Lavender. I miss it.