falling on my arm,
a glimpse of the mountain,
through glowing branches.
Birds cheerfully chirping in the trees,
the sound of water splashing in a fountain,
sun shining through the vine leaves above me
highlight the firey edges of autumn.
The smell of coffee and baking.
Here, in my happy place,
I tell you how I feel,
I choose honesty
over a stiff upper lip.
As I give up certain foods
I realise how much I turned to them for comfort.
I realise I’m stiff necked and slow
to turn to you for that comfort.
As I return to South Africa
I miss family and friends in the UK.
More time alone.
I realise how quickly I turn to people for comfort.
You invite me gently not to rush to fix the aloneness
but to look to you to be my constant companion.
Easier to pick up the phone.
As things seem uncertain and unfamiliar,
my things in cardboard boxes
both sides of the world;
living in a friend’s spare room, not my home;
a new season, not yet fully defined;
in this place, you invite me gently to turn to you
with certain hope and anticipation
that you are my rock and my certainty.
You remind me that wherever I am,
I can be ‘at home in your love’.*
As I struggle to articulate my life
and comparison knocks loudly at the door,
again you gently invite me to turn to you
knowing my significance, value and meaning
is rooted in you alone,
not in what people think of me
or whether I’m doing things
that I or others define as ‘significant’.
You tell me your word is a light to my feet.
Not a search light to see the whole road ahead
but a flickering candle in a lantern
only enough light for the very next step
and that step was to return.
You invite me to place my hand in yours
and I know it’s true
(even when it doesn’t feel true)
that it is safer than a known way.
I guess it’s true you have more patience with me
than I have with myself.
For a short while I live in lack
and tears come
not recognising the person
standing close by my side
who can meet me in every place of need.
Who can be my everything.
* John 15:9 “Make yourselves at home in my love.”