Here

a Spiritual Journey offering

in memory of my father

and in honor of Micah, my granddaughter
who will be born later this month

*******

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again…
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting — 

over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”

October is here
and with it, memory:
it is the month

of my father’s birth.
I am here
because he was here
once upon a time.

October is here
and with it, wild geese

coming home.
My father loved them
like he loved planes
in the wild blue yonder
of his service years

when he was young.
At his funeral procession
a flock of wild geese
stood by in solemn ranks.

He chose to be buried here
so Air Force jets
would fly over his grave

every day.

October is here
with its fiery oranges, reds, golds
and heartrending blue.
Blazing colors that are here
for just a little while,
coming and going
before the long sleep
and eventual rewakening
.

October is here
with its bright story
of permanence
cloaked in

the temporary darkness
of impermanence.

October is here
with its beckoning to
see, smell, taste, feel, know
life in all of its spice

and fullness,
never bound by a calendar,
a schedule, a checklist…

October is here
with its own organic order,
a natural reminder

of all our comings and goings
and of the taking of one’s place
in the family of things
.

October is here.
You will soon be here
,
firstborn child
of my firstborn child
.
I, too, am
the firstborn child
of a firstborn child
.
My father named me
for his mother.
Your father named you
for God

by whose infinite grace
I am here
to see your coming.

A downy-soft blanket and a whole lot of love are here awaiting you, little precious one.
Your name is one of ancient faith and praise: “Who is like God?”

*******

with much gratitude to Ramona Behnke, who inspired our monthly Spiritual Journey Thursday group to write around the word “here” with this quote from Emily P. Freeman’s podcast, Episode 188: You Are Here (And It Matters):


“What if you being all the way here actually mattered, with your cold feet and your stomachache and the light shining through the window. You with your stack of books, by the bedside table and hopeful feeling inside your heart. You with your deep grief, over a loss you thought you’d be over by now, standing in the kitchen while you microwave your coffee. For now, this is true. So what is true of you? And do you really believe God is with you no matter what? That you are not alone, that you don’t have to be you all by yourself? Here’s to being where you already are. Fully present with all that is true. And then here’s to doing your next right thing in love.”

*******


10 thoughts on “Here

  1. This October is a special one for you as you draw a line from our Father-God to your father to your son, the father of your first grandchild. It’s all so much and could be overwhelming. Already there is love in your heart for dear Micah. Thanks for allowing us to be part of this miraculous journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It IS a very special October; my dad would be intrigued and pleased by Micah’s coming in his birth month. Both of his sisters were also born in October – all of Granddaddy & Grandma’s children! The date of Micah’s birth is scheduled as it will be by caesarean. My son is a pastor and when he preaches, my daughter-in-law says that Micah moves around a lot. It is like she knows that’s her father’s voice…there’s another whole post, that! We all stand ready to welcome her and show her how much we already love her. Thank you, Margaret.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the inspiration today, Ramona! “Here” is such a compelling prompt for reflecting on one’s spiritual journey. October rolls around with many layers of richness, remembrance, and celebration for me. It’s a lovely month for birthdays. My father was the oldest of three; his two sisters were also born in October – on the same day, five years apart. Micah is scheduled to come by c-section around that time. As my aunt says: “It’s so nice to have another October birthday.” It feels like a continuation of things, in the family of things.

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  2. Fran, what an honor to read this poem to Micah, because you are traveling to Micah, I presume. The repetition punctuating the order of October and the sights and sounds and fragrances of this month is incredibly moving. I’m so in love with how you weave a story into a poem. And this one weaves a genealogy too. Such a gift for a little one. So much love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks, Linda. I treasure your words re: my story-poems. I was actually traveling BEFORE Micah’s arrival, because I will not want to do so for a while afterward! It’s a great blessing that my son and his wife live nearby. I cannot wait to see that newborn face ❤

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