A Blessing Just to Be




Before the adults we call our children arrive with their children in tow
  for Thanksgiving,

we take our morning walk down the lane of oaks and hemlocks, mist
  a smell of rain by nightfall—underfoot,

the crunch of leathery leaves released by yesterday’s big wind.

You’re ahead of me, striding into the arch of oaks that opens onto the fields
  and stone walls of the road—

as a V of geese honk a path overhead, and you stop—

in an instant, without thought, raising your arms toward sky, your hands
  flapping from the wrists,

and I can read in the echo your body makes of these wild geese going
  where they must,

such joy, such wordless unity and delight, you are once again the child
  who knows by instinct, by birthright,

just to be is a blessing. In a fictional present, I write the moment down.
  You embodied it.
~Margaret Gibson “Moment”


I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.
~Jane Kenyon “Otherwise”


On this day,
this giving-thanks day,
I know families who surround loved ones
fighting for life in ICU beds,
more families struggling to find gratitude
in their pierced hearts
from loss of a child in an overturned school bus,
or their gunned down police officer son/husband/father,
or their soldier coming home under a flag.

It is the measure of us, the created,
to kneel grateful, while facing the terrible
and still feel loved and blessed,
to believe how wide and long and high and deep
is His love for us,
we the weeping, the broken-hearted.








8 thoughts on “A Blessing Just to Be

  1. ….and for all the nameless, unknown, unseen among us who carry their burdens of untold human suffering within themselves in silence and hopelessness…. may they know the peace, comfort and hope of God’s Mercy through the action(s) of their brother and sister fellow travelers.


  2. Thankyou Emily. I am one of those with my dear farmer husband in ICU. I do so appreciate the prayers from so many that don’t even know us. This morning the doctor took him off all pain meds and the sedative to wean him off the ventilator. He is back on the assisted oxygen at 35%. The big test will be if when he wakes up, if he is cognitive. Three of our four children from our blended family are in his room with us. The fourth is on her way back from her in-laws in nevada.
    I am so grateful that even through this brokeness, God is bringing wellness and wholeness to the family. I have been able to express my feelings of the Holy Spirit to his brothers in a way I think they have a better grasp that God’s plan to end Eli’s story is only known by Him. I also shared with the family members that came to our room this morning, that no matter what the outcome, please don’t let it diminish the true reason of Thanksgiving or future ones. God planned to use Eli’s brokeness to bring wholeness to the family. I could see some really got what I was saying. Eli’s mother passed 9 years ago on Christmas Eve so this has really scared some of the family to go through this with beloved Eli on another holiday that family and extended family came to from out of state. I told them God planned this so they would be here and it is good.

    A few minutes ago, I leaned in and gently kissed Eli on his cheek. He opened his eyes and totally surprised us. I asked him to close his eyes and just rest. And he did. This is all good. An hour later, I asked him if he could squeeze my hand…asked again calmly, and one finger moved.
    The nurses feel these are good signs.
    Sorry if I gave to much information, but it was such a positive moment in such a time if uncertainty.
    Blessings to all.


  3. Thank you Emily once again for bringing beauty to the world in words and photos. You are one of the many blessings I’m so thankful for!

    From: Barnstorming To: soaringblocks@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, November 24, 2016 7:22 AM Subject: [New post] A Blessing Just to Be #yiv2036240831 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2036240831 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2036240831 a.yiv2036240831primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2036240831 a.yiv2036240831primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2036240831 a.yiv2036240831primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2036240831 a.yiv2036240831primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2036240831 WordPress.com | briarcroft posted: “Before the adults we call our children arrive with their children in tow   for Thanksgiving, we take our morning walk down the lane of oaks and hemlocks, mist   a smell of rain by nightfall—underfoot, the crunch of leathery leaves released by ” | |


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