It has been dry here. The green stems of the garden have been hanging low to the ground, petals limp with a weary thirst. The June grass already an August shade of parched yellow. And as each days passes, a quiet anxiety rumbles. A worry somewhere deep in the ground. A quiet need for the refresh of a summer rain, the want for green leaves kissed with morning dew.
I have been walking circles around my studio. Waiting for the rain, the refresh, the flood of certainty. Opening the door. Closing the door. Collecting thoughts and laying them on the floor, a small cemetery of ideas and new projects waiting to be resurrected by the wash of trust. The storm that brings with it the calm, the thick air pushed aside by thin droplets of clarity. I wait for the cleanse.
There is this avoidance. The seat at the table that comes without hiding. It will be the beginning. This new story. The second book that waits in piles on the floor, the shelf, the lining of my heart. And I pace around the dotted line, the place where I need to cut away and put it back together. The studio, this place where God holds a mirror up to my heart and slowly drags my hand across the pictures, already drawn. Words, already spoken.
And maybe I am scared of the wiry garden of weeds that have accumulated in there since she left. Because I have abandoned certain parts, the parts that hurt, the parts I have neglected. Like prayer. And trust. Hope and Grace.
So it comes out. In parking lots. In front of Hobby Lobby. In the aisle between the paints and canvas. These first drops of rain. The tears that long to quench this dried up garden heart.
And when it comes, it is all I can do to stand in its lavish gift and give into all of its freedom.
And it hurts. And the storm brings up pain. It brings up loss and all of the hard little places I shoved into drawers and hid under rugs.
But in between the puddles, there is a field of joy. A place where freedom gives us the strength to hold our arms out to our sides, to slide forward in the mess.
And these boys, these tiny bodies, with all of their dirt and grime, mud and honesty. They show me what this freedom looks like when it gets bumped up against truth, against closed doors and dry soil.
And when the lightning comes, we're ready. There is shelter in family. Friends. Open hands and warm cups of coffee under makeshift roofs. And we can wait the storms out together.
And this friend, the one that holds his hand when he teeters on a log, just barely balancing between a high leap and an inch long scar. Her name is Grace. And she stands four fingers taller than the last soaked hair on his head.
Grace, the very thing that follows the storm, that stirs discovery, that uncovers the gift. Grace, the love laced twirl that binds the holes in our hearts, that skips past the mud and delicately tip toes to the sing song hum of our buried treasures.
She follows and hovers. Holds her hands to her heart and protects the very freedom that allows us to fall, barely touching the crease of our backs, gently holding us from the stumble.
And this grace may look small, like maybe she isn't big enough to carry and catch and clean up all of the damage, the muck, the messes we find ourselves in.
But it's this very smallness that weaves through the tiniest of our cracks, the ones that lead to the deepest breaks. She makes her way through the lines that hold the storm clouds in each wrinkle.
And when the rains do come, you will find this grace between the tallest weeds, in the dirtiest hands, between muddy toes and slippery fingers. You will find this grace in all of the in betweens, the places where hope can get stuck.
And the sky will open up again. And the wet eyes and rubbed cheeks and the tears on the backs of our hands is the deep letting go. And the trees will reach once more to a sky made lighter by the strong winds.
And she will wipe away the smudges, the smears, the thoughts and whispers that hold us back.
And she will point us back to the path that once was covered in snow, in winter and blank pages.
And the salt on the top of our lips helps us to remember the eyes once closed, can open under the watchful presence of her love.
And the slippery feet and wet, itchy skin, the agitation, that we left somewhere under rocks will find it's way back to the shelter of her grace.
And we will leave it all there, where the path met our feet and rub the dirt from under our eyes and look between the leaves and the bark. And her petals will be met with the soft hush of our last tear. For now.
Somewhere. In between.