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  • Writer's pictureRev. Ani

The Ripening

Poems From The Porch

photo by Craig Cooper on

The first glimpse of winter frost

looks magical to warm Southern eyes.

The twinkling sparkles appear only briefly,

innocently melting away

with the first farewell kiss of the sun.

There is a brave patch of vibrant green

making a showing under the gardenia bushes

in anticipation of the far off Spring.

How bold, how audacious

to bloom before its time,

like Copernicus and Bohm

and even Mary Magdalene,

who most likely would have been

counted among the twelve

had Jesus been born today.

I did not show up before my time,

except by Southern standards.

Risk after risk taken

and plenty of buds showing

but fear of disapproval frequently stopped a full bloom.

I feel a change coming, though

and self-permission to

take the most important risk.

It is the willingness to invest in self-affirmation,

to be completely for my own unfolding,

to unashamedly show up as myself.

Not everyone deals with this issue.

There are plenty who say,

“Take me or leave me, but this is who I am,”

and they mean it,

they live it,

sometimes they even shout it,

and I admire them for their unapologetic stance.

That is not my lot, though.

I haven’t had the guts to

overtly give anyone that choice.

Of course, the choice is inherent in any relationship

and has been made by everyone

I’ve encountered for all of my life.

But to daringly stand in my truth,

well, there have been pivotal moments

of which I am proud,

yet there is part of me that

longs for something more.

All that said, I feel it now

and I embrace it,

the invitation to be real.

And I guess there is a ripening that is necessary—

nothing is really before its time.

Copernicus and Bohm—right on time,

and I suppose the lime-colored grass

under the gardenia bushes is

embodying its own promptness.

A moment ago, there was a cardinal in the bare crepe myrtle.

I would not have seen it

if I hadn’t looked up just then.

Funny thing, timing.

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