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“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.’” – Revelation 21:3

When the time left in a place is measured in hours

Not days

You try and take in every moment

Enjoying the sparkle on the water

Breathing deeply of the cool air

Listening to the music of wind and waves

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There aren’t many places that hold my heart

As a child who moved every three years

Never in a place long enough to set down deep roots

But this place of respite

A place where I have come

Almost every year

The simplicity and charm of it

This place feels like home

In a way that makes me ache to leave

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This year was different

We didn’t step out of the busy to be here

We were already in slow motion

The whole world on hold

Thanks to Covid

But I still came with fears and anxieties

Some are still with me

But I have fewer now than when I came

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There is something about the water

An end of a dock

Which invites your soul to breathe

To think deeply

Letting go of the past

Looking forward with hope

To the future

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The cottage is a place

Outside time

Neither past nor future is here

Here simply is

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If I were dying

And aren’t we all dying a little every day?

I would come here

To spend my last days

If a meteor were hurtling towards earth

This is where I’d want to be when it struck

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And while I know no place is home

Not even here

Home is a land I will not see until I breathe my last

This place reminds me of the eternal

The veil between

Earth and heaven

Seems thinner here

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The tears flow freely

Cool on my cheek

We were made for this longing

This longing for home

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The beauty of this place takes my breath

I feel the goodness of the Lord

Who delights to give good gifts to his children

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My in-laws too delight to give good gifts

To their children and grandchildren

The cottage such a gift

My mother-in-law prepares each meal with care

Bowls and plates overflowing

The simple comfort of a meal taken together

Over conversation and laughter

She is up early in the morning too

Scripture open before her

And she shares with me a new insight

As I come in from the dock

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My father-in-law a gifted doctor

Who doctors no more

His gentle nature and inquisitive mind

Are only matched by the care he has for those around him

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Aging isn’t really kind to anyone

Measured in aging backs and painful joints

But they bear it with grace

Uncomplaining

And with an identity born of whose they are

Not what they can do

Or what they can no longer do

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:11-13

I have always looked forward to the start of school

But this year I am dreading it too for too many reasons to name

The secret of being content

Found in a strength I do not possess

A strength He alone provides

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So while I must leave this place

I pray that this place does not leave me

That somehow I will make the time

Despite less time than I will ever have had

For the one true thing

For knitting my heart to things unseen

For seeing with new eyes

And hopefully growing to be a little more

like Jesus

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I notice the delicate filament

Of the spider’s web

Somehow strong enough to not break

In these gusts and breezes

I marvel at how something so gossamer and tenuous

Can really be so strong

Strong enough that an insect caught in it

Cannot escape

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Lord give me a soft heart towards your Spirit

But also grant me strength of heart

for whatever is to come

Grant me a heart of faith

That I may laugh at the days to come

“She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.” – Proverbs 31:25

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