"God showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand… and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: 'What can this be?' And it was generally answered thus: 'It is all that was made.' It was so small I thought it might disappear, but I was answered... everything has being through the love of God." --Julian of Norwich

Friday, October 12, 2012

Five-sense Friday... Prose edition

It's been a while, friends!  A long blog silence packed with too much to say in too little time is now coming to an end.  Be prepared, because I'm blogging again!

Winter has arrived today in Vancouver and poured its gentle rain on the many colored leaves and bared branches of autumn.  Gentle and incessant.  Never downpouring and never ending.  Perhaps we’ll have a good winter this year, perhaps we will actually see blue sky sometime between now and June.  Perhaps.  If not, at least there is the green glow of life that all this water sustains through the cold of winter.

My heart feels gray today.  I sit here, sipping my peppermint tea in a coffee shop, warmed by a flickering yellow fire, chilled by sitting too close to the back door.  I can see sky, leaves, and branches reflected in my cooling tea and it reminds me of a youth camp I went on in Grade 11, when we were asked one day to find something in a rainy New York forest that represented our spiritual life at the time.  Ever the poet, I wanted something deep and new, insightful and profound.  I couldn’t carry them with me to show and tell, but I found myself longing to be a puddle, still with the reflection of sky and branches.  “So that when people look down at me, they can see God.” 

I crack open my worn maroon Book of Common prayer and pray for the morning, savoring the words about repentance and forgiveness.  My heart is heavy with my own headstrong, persistent mistakes these days.  I try to open my hands and let go of them. 

“ TO-DAY, O that ye would hear his voice.” 

I look out the window, across the street at a busker in a long blue raincoat with a jumbled misspelled sign, standing in the rain.  I saw him crossing the street earlier, with a tiny woman who came only up to his waist, and he was carrying a sword.  Nothing about the way they were dressed betrayed their situation.  They looked so bizarrely normal, like something out of a work of art.  He notices me looking and turns his gaze to burn into me.

“Harden not your hearts as in the Provocation,
 and as in the day of Temptation in the wilderness,
When your fathers tempted me,
proved me and saw my works.”

I look away, move to a seat where I can plug in my computer, and they are gone.  They’ve vanished like angels of judgment.  Ought 50 cents to weigh so heavy in my pocket?

I am here for a purpose this morning.  To write.  Amidst the smells of coffee brewing and pastries baking (both of which I cannot enjoy in the asceticism of allergy).  Amidst the hum of conversations.  Just a glass panel away from the gray rain, the dancing flames reflected in the cold window.  Not many words today.  Just an ache, a longing that someday I would be able to say that right thing and someone could hear his voice.  That they would look at my face and see Jesus.

Who knows what the damp chill of winter will bring with it?  Who can tell?


  1. So glad to read your words, Laura. Thank you for coming back to this space.

    1. Thanks for waiting out the silence, Cindy! I think I got cold feet after one of my last posts got more hits than any ever before... Not a ton, but more than I was used to. It freaked me out because it upped the game. So, here we go!