I will not forget the first time we had a corporeal encounter –
A hovering gossamer legion –
On the gray shore I stood watching essences float from silver heaven,
Chorusing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
In thousands of intonations.
Once I was startled,
When One whooshed through my closed bedroom window,
A chest-high eagle, in the half light,
Gazing at me with keen golden eyes.
Wonder One sometimes acquires the form of a warm, brown horse.
Once, my first husband shot this creature.
Of course he could not kill — only wound.
Such power heals and lives.
I embrace the sturdy neck often.
Phenomenon flies behind my back and wraps me in an owl feather cape,
Chanting singsong whispers into my ear
When I am tied high in swaying pines.
At this touch, my hang-ups snap.
I have seen Divine as a curly-haired faun,
With fragrant, silken taupe skin.
Rarely could I look into such a face then.
Medicine woman, Robelle, saw my Protector when I lived in the haunted vicarage —
A giant young man in a brown suit standing guard.
In that house I needed shelter.
Great Crone came and sat with me on the stone bench before my altar
As my maternal grandmother Hannah.
She cackled when I asked her if she loved me.
Another time, as I mused on the same bench, before the same altar,
On a warm shore of Lake Superior, Wonder One emerged from the water
On fine gild-scaled legs, filmy wet gauze trailing,
Long strands of jewels and sea weed wound in tangled hair,
Silently sat with me.
Here again were the eyes of the eagle.
I summon Wonder One
Who cannot be escaped,
Who cannot be forced,
Who loves on me. . . .
According to the prophet Daniel, the Hebrew teenagers, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into a furnace for refusing to worship the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar.
They were Divinely protected from the fire by a 4th being walking around in the flames, and finally taken out of the furnace. Daniel reports they did not even retain the smell of smoke after they were rescued.
Daniel also records Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had actually been saved by “someone like the Son of God”.
Quite the story.
I have dealt with my own fiery trial over the last some months. That furnace is history.
Yes, I have survived. But I can’t seem to heal these singes or shake this smell of smoke.
Not quickly. Not alone.
This “someone like the Son of God” is slow and subtle.
As of December 14, 2018, I am going to quit mourning and start enjoying this Yuletide/Advent/Christmas Season.
“After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul
“And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning, and company doesn’t always mean security
“And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead
“With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child and you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight
“After awhile you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
“And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong, and you really do have worth
“And you learn
“And you learn
“With every goodbye you learn. ~ Veronica A. Shoffstall