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A planning, a challenging —

another child,

timed and prepared to fit

our schedules.

 

Everything seemed to proceed easily.

But plans are that only

nothing more

 

Thanksgiving weekend

I bartered with God.

Please let this baby live.

We want it so much.

Give me a reason for giving thanks,

give me this child,

this bit of immortality.

But God had other plans.

 

Deep, immeasurable grief

years later, at Thanksgiving

the waves of loss —

of potential, of possibility,

of a soul connected to mine

gone.

 

Yet unexpected gifts

a community

of women

of friends

of love

shared my grief

 

Controls

plans

schedules

vastly overrated

ultimately self-deluding.

I opened up to possibilities.

 

My second son is special

as all children are

but also in miraculous recognition

without the miscarriage

he would not be.

 

In him

made manifest

God’s lesson in love and hope.

The cliche,

“What will be, will be”

profoundly comforts.

This child is what will be,

the other not.

Simple.

Difficult.

True.

(c) Lydia A. Schultz, 2009

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Given we just had snow (7 inches) yesterday, I thought I would share a poem that talks about natural wonder.  Although I now live in Minnesota, I find myself often returning to my hometown and Pennsylvania when I write.

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Natural Epiphanies

 

Among the smokestacks, buildings,

pollutants, steel,

of my childhood town

God was an abstraction,

impenetrable.

 

But camping in wild hills

of whitetails and hemlock

I could feel God’s glory.

 

The stretches of wild blackberries and huckleberries,

The shimmering aspen leaves,

The coy May apples under their umbrellas,

The delicate sassafras leaves in their threefold variety,

Black-eyed Susans, lacy Queen Annes,

Grasshoppers dancing ahead while we walked.

 

            The profusion of it all —

 

Racoons seeking refuse

Newts under rotting logs

Groundhogs waddling beside dirt roads

Wild turkeys raising a ruckus in the brush

A bull snake, crushed and broken on the road,

Her eggs exposed for us to see

Spiders in their webs in the corners of outhouses.

 

Here I could imagine a god

using these places as a palette.

 

At my first camp job,

I escaped the children and routine.

           

            My blaze orange poncho glowed,

rain dripped on my glasses.

I moved through an impressionist painting.

            Light trickled through leaves

Wet grasses brushed knees

Brambles grabbed at sleeves

            Low branches swiped at my face.

           

            Until —  suspended in time, rooted in place —

           

            Poised, we stared at each other

            Breathless, that instant captured us

            Knowingly, our eyes shared understanding

 

Then the deer bounded off.       

I was alone, connected.

 

Now, deceptive stillness

fills the urban yard.

Snow covers brush piles

Pine branches fill with snow

Oak limbs create abstract patterns

of hoar frost in the sky.

 

            But life spills out with of a shimmer of sun.

            Chickadees, feathers puffed for warmth

            Squirrels, scavenging acorns

            Blue jays, on alert

            A grey rabbit, peeking through shrubs

            A cardinal, singing flamboyantly

            Snow-suited children, exploding with energy.

 

Here too, amid the trees,

I seek the ineffable —

on my face, I feel the wind

bringing me

to what is.

 

Copyright (c) Lydia A. Schultz