The window over the sink looks out over March snow.
Snow lingers here in Vermont,
the cold season longer than most.
Sunlight comes in, not yet warm, but bright,
much needed after the long season of grey,
a season that extends past calendars and time,
soul rooted, worn by your body’s failure
and a darkness that pervades far too deep.
The sun, the colors, mean more than most could understand.
Your personal battles have meaning. This you have learned.
You are not quiet in the fights that have chosen you,
nor the fights you have chosen.
Love wins. Or at least the right kind of love wins.
Paul’s love a few brief verses of perfection,
strong and gentle enough to change the most broken of lives.
This you have learned. The word means little.
It is among the most misused of nouns and verbs,
a thing used equally as an enslavement or abuser
as a thing to set people free, heal, and lift up.
It can be a thing equally of cruelty or light,
depending on the definition we choose.
not by words,
You have fought your battles with the flimsiest of weapons,
that gentle love so few understand, or even know
when they see it. Almost invisible.
Almost. But this you have learned:
Love is subtle and sharp, able to cut through darkness,
able to destroy your demons in your day to day battles,
able, when nothing else is.
How strange that we turn to it
only when all else has failed.
An unaccustomed sun streams through the window.
The flowers are bright. Upstairs your wife is stirring.
The morning begins, and here you are,
You breathe in the air. You can smell the spring.
It is not far off. You are not accustomed to contentment,
and you find yourself wishing it is a long season,
determined to hold onto your gentle weapon,
the thing that has brought you this far
still has journeys to make.
About this poem.
A couple of mornings ago, my wife told me my color was good, and that I seemed “better”. There’s truth to that. I probably feel better than I have in two years, since before my cancer diagnosis, surgery, the time of Coronavirus and radiation. I may feel better than I have in fifteen years or so, and that’s something.
Years ago a friend of mine sent me a wonderful little book called “Contentment”, full of quotes and thoughts and poems and essays on contentment. I think I need to reread the book, because I think, I think I am there. And such a strange and wonderful place to be.
It has little to do with circumstances. Life is still full of troubles and struggles. It has more to do because I am living in a place of love in so many fronts. And that is powerful.
The reference to “Paul’s love” in the poem is 1st Corinthians 13:4-8.
The picture is of the window over my kitchen sink.
Be well. Travel wisely,
Praise God that you are doing better! I’ll continue to keep you in my prayers.
Thanks for sharing Paul’s words on love – a timely reminder to us all in these unsettling times.