Whispers from the Wings

Cerulean Skies
(c) 2012

In a recent post I contemplated Frederick Buechner’s definition of compassion in Wishful Thinking.

A cousin’s comment on that post has had me thinking about another essay in the same book, concerning what we take to be coincidental: “I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know.  Who can say what it is that’s going on, but I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: ‘You’ve turned up in the right place at the right time. You’re doing fine. Don’t ever think that you’ve been forgotten.’”

Well, it may be wishful thinking on my part, but perhaps I did show up in the right places at the right times today.

I heard whispers and roars, and was led into color and light.

It began early in the morning, as a dollop of sun hit a spot on the floor as light streamed through the outline of a flowering tree Jim had planted.  I felt my breath catch when I looked down and saw dancing upon my bare foot a single bright segment of sunlight, quavering from a morning breeze that had shaken the tree through which it shined,  forming a shimmering arrow laced with leaves.  It pointed me outside, towards that sepia swath I described only weeks ago.

The swath is not sepia anymore.

Only handfuls of straw stalks remain at bottom edges where they are being pushed out by broad, healthy leaves which exuberantly have erupted to replace the sadly drooping flora I had been unable to envision recovering green.

Recovered Green
(c) 2012

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The Lime-Tree Bower

All photographs (c) 2012 Stephanie M. Glennon

For one Christmas soon after we moved to my husband Jim’s ideal home, over the course of many weeks I painted for him a large bowl.  On the underside is a deep green-blue sea filled with cetaceans (I would not know my porpoises from my whales without having been educated by my children when they were young) and anglerfish, seaweed and coral.

Inside the bowl is a dove-topped ark crammed with pairs of animals no doubt ready to start families of their own.

Circling the rim is a snippet of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ode to the sea:

The Sun’s rim dips; the stars rush out:
At one stride comes the dark;
With far-heard whisper, o’er the sea,
Off shot the spectre-bark.

Today I happened across another Coleridge poem that poetically dovetails with the sentiment I tried to express about now taking in the world for both of us–both the natural world and events which inexorably go on.

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Continue reading “The Lime-Tree Bower”

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