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  • Writer's pictureRev. Ani

Poems From The Porch

Light Behind The Clouds

It is quite humid this morning, something to be expected in summer, but it hasn’t been the norm this year. The air is finally still, and I feel the same stillness in me, too. The sunlight only momentarily reached the vines that I have woven through the porch rails. It made my heart smile to see the splash of brightness on this cloudy day. It reminded me that there is light behind the clouds.

Now there is a little brown and grey bird hopping in the crepe myrtles. Did the wind take their blossoms? I don’t see them on the ground. Maybe they were lifted up and distributed elsewhere. I hope they enjoyed the ride, felt the freedom and exhilaration of flight, like I do in dreams, sometimes.

Their sojourn on the trees was interrupted by a random event, like the young family who was driving together a few weeks ago when another vehicle overcame them and started shooting at their car; or like my friends who weren’t able to breathe when they walked outside their homes because of the sparks that became raging wildfires; or like my classmate who was blown across a room in her home when an explosion shattered the windows and made the city all but uninhabitable.

What about the man who smothered under the knee of a policeman? I didn’t know him personally, but I’m thinking that he didn’t expect to die that day. And then there is my friend who has been diagnosed with ALS and my friend, his wife, who must work to keep up the insurance that pays for his care. It seems worth mentioning that we are in the midst of a pandemic and massive political strife.

There is a sense that these random events are escalating and that we, as a collective, are about to implode. Some people attribute these happenings to a disgruntled deity, creating a narrative of retribution. That feels like darkness to me, rather than the Light that I know is there. It seems that finding a reason for chaos makes it appear manageable, but it isn’t, and never will be.

Chaos and impermanence are the states in which we live. We breathe in, breathe out, pause. We pant, and we hold our breath, and we question the nature of breathing as we wait for the next inhale. All of us are control freaks. Breathing is simply a gift.

I know this, so I relax into my next breath, and I realize, in the stillness, that I am grieving. The whole world is in a state of grief, so we try to find order in chaos. Our pain is palpable, and we are crying, although sometimes the tears are shed through anger.

I wonder if the crepe myrtles are grieving the loss of their blossoms, too. I’d like to think they are because there is comfort in knowing that we are all in this together. I want to reassure them that the sun is still shining behind the clouds and that they will bloom again, but they may not be ready to hear it.

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