Putting Kindness to the Test


one day you finally knew what you had to do,

and began.

though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice,

though the whole house began to tremble

and you felt the old tug at your ankles,

 “mend my life!” – each voice cried,

but you didn’t stop you knew what you had to do.

though the wind pried with its stiff finger at the very foundations,

though their melancholy was terrible,

it was already late enough and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen branches & stones.

 but little by little as you left their voices behind

the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds.

 and there was a new voice which you suddenly recognized as your own

and that kept you company as you strode deeper into the world,

determined to do the only thing you could do,

determined to save the only life you could save. – mary oliver

I love Mary Oliver, her voice is expectant and hopeful.

Where 2010 brought sickness, rest, and healing, 2011 is bringing many new things into light. I cannot mend another’s life, I can only tend to my own. Knowing that has been far more healing these past few days than I expected.

One of the things I am tending to is rather than leave you with half-finished stories and incomplete thoughts, I’ve decided to cut back on how often I post. I didn’t give you my best last year, and I’ve decided that 2011 is no year for table scraps for anyone.

A funny thing happened today while I was sitting here writing. I opened my eyes to look at the piled up things of stuff surrounding me. The Christmas tree boxes, decorations, scraps of paper, and empty boxes waiting to be filled. I’m surrounded in the chaos that comes with having two homes and not fully letting go of a holiday. Everything is in transition, either waiting to be taken to the lake house or to be put away or thrown out and I’m smack in the middle of unfinished business.

I was considering leaving it all for another day while I continue to find ways to mend that which isn’t my own and a voice whispered in my spirit – “Is this really how you treat my home?”

You would have thought my husband said that, but he didn’t. He’s kindly and gently side-stepped this now visual image of how cluttered I’ve allowed my insides to become. Most men would be apoplectic by now.  I had to stop and really think – is this how I treat someone I love? He’s even-tempered, kind to a point that I don’t always understand – and trust me when I tell you he is the nicer of the two of us. I’m putting that kindness to the test, taking it for granted when he really doesn’t deserve that.

So, having said that – I have two homes to put in order and won’t be here as often as I was. I hope you understand.

2 thoughts on “Putting Kindness to the Test

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