In June’s high light she stood at the sink
With a glass of wine,
And listened for the bobolink,
And crushed garlic in late sunshine.
I watched her cooking, from my chair.
She pressed her lips
Together, reached for kitchenware,
And tasted sauce from her fingertips.
“It’s ready now. Come on,” she said.
“You light the candle.”
We ate, and talked, and went to bed,
And slept. It was a miracle.
~Donald Hall “Summer Kitchen”
Day ends, and before sleep
when the sky dies down, consider
your altered state: has this day
changed you? Are the corners
sharper or rounded off? Did you
live with death? Make decisions
that quieted? Find one clear word
that fit? At the sun’s midpoint
did you notice a pitch of absence,
bewilderment that invites
the possible? What did you learn
from things you dropped and picked up
and dropped again? Did you set a straw
parallel to the river, let the flow
carry you downstream?
~Jeanne Lohmann “Questions Before Dark”
I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer.
You are yourself the answer.
Before your face questions die away.
~C.S. Lewis from Till We Have Faces
When the world seems to be going to hell in a hand basket, what a gift is a wonderful evening meal, conversation at the dinner table and falling asleep with a gentle sigh of contentment. These sweet moments are worth remembering.
It is easy to get swept up in frustration with a plethora of angry public opinions and even angrier societal actions. Yet I find that only leads to indigestion, irritability and insomnia.
I ask myself thoughtful and sometimes troubling questions at the end of the day that too often feel unanswerable — only because I’m not paying attention to the ultimate Answer to all questions. Each day I should be ready to be changed by His call to me to finish well.
I must not take any day for granted. Each is a sweet day to be remembered for some special moment that made me hope it could last forever – whether the high light of late June or the candle light that pierces the darkness of the shortest December day.
Do you put honey in your tea Do you let it cool gradually, Do feel the strange wash of time and memory? Have you made peace with your worst day, Kissed in a busy cafe, Are there things you feel but you still don't know how to say? Chorus: Brief as the light on wheels of hay, All that you've kept or given away Questions that come before dark at the end of a day Did you lose a lover or friend Was there a story that just had to end? Did you finally learn what kept coming around again Did you work in a bookstore? Are there things that you don’t do anymore? Ever watch an oncoming train or gathering storm Chorus Did you say yes Did you say no Was it true or just wasn't so? Did you land hard or gracefully Was it not what you planned? But right where you needed to be Have you ever made a grilled cheese, Ever prayed down on your knees, Did you love a place you still had to leave? Did you walk before you crawled, Have a dog when you were small, Did make it through but it was such a close call? Copyright Carrie Newcomer 2022
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