Hope, Love


My lover speaks; he says to me,
“Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!
“For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!
~Song of Songs 2:12~

I have two double daffodils on my desk. It is baffling how the presence of fresh flowers changes a space. They were among the few blooms in our front flower bed that came through this spring. Once their stalks bent to the ground, I rescued them to spend the last of their bright yellow days in a mug of water on this desk. Perhaps when I have a true writing desk, a space consecrated to that activity, I will aim to always have fresh flowers of some sort at hand. Someday…

It’s a season of freshness – Spring – overly wet and slow in coming though it may be. The branches of the many maples in my neighborhood are decked out in their green buds. Daylight comes at such an early hour again. Walks and bike rides and softball games are filling the evenings. My summer calendar is already heavy with plans but for now, for a few more weeks, I feel like I can breathe a bit slower, deeper, and the air I catch will swell in my lungs with the freshness it lacked through the lengthy winter.
My niece became engaged this past Sunday. For several years it was a frequent (and nearly funny) joke in our family that she might marry before me or a couple of my sisters. The idea of that happening was a lonely one indeed. The past year changed my perspective on a heck of a lot though and with my hand in Matt’s, I am able to rejoice with her. Granted the fact that my niece is getting married makes me feel a bit old, but not lonely. In a single year, I have tasted what it means to have a companion, to be beloved, to give and receive wholehearted affection, to fight for and with each other, to question and subsequently dig for the answers, to rest in another’s arms and trust them to hold you well. I say ‘tasted’ because even with all the depth of the relationship thus far, I have a back-of-the-mind sense that we have yet only skimmed the surface.
In the last few months I’ve read several books that remind me why I love reading. They remind me of what I am trying to do and why I try at all. Water for Elephants, The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, Inkheart… The words of others wear away my apathy and hesitation. I have no small task in redeveloping Aillinn’s character and backstory in order to give more depth to her part in the story of Full of Days. The invigorating pleasure of taking up that task outweighs the difficulty though. I am freshly ambitious and as such I feel more like myself in this realm of things than I have for nearly a year.
There is such beauty – not vain beauty but tangible, effective beauty – in a person pursuing what God has designed them to do. To love, to create, to believe, to hope, to give of themselves in their unique ways. When the talents and qualities He has given are taken up by their possessor, those close by are able to witness that spark of life, of truly living, which I believe we all wish to experience day by day. Each day truly lived is indeed a radiant bloom.

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