TITLE: BLACKWATER WEDNESDAY (Revised)
By Judith Hope
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AT BLACKWATER POND
(“Mary Oliver Reads Mary Oliver” Album)
The grey day turns colder. The cat comes into the house, his fluffed up coat not sufficient to keep him warmly asleep in long grasses. A grey day - colours and their strength drain away. The blood runs colder and thinner than the home-made celery soup.
Strains of classical music filter through the house, and now turn to ‘Lark Ascending’, which can uplift the emptiest of hearts, when a surprise package of recorded poetry arrives. The readings begin with a playing of ‘Lark Ascending’.
They speak of the silver-grey-black waters of Blackwater Pond in their particular cold beauty. Their darkest, deepest beauty. Then the lightness of white herons as they arrive at the pond and begin hitching up their feathers as they enter their legs into the cold water - to fish all day.
Within the poetry there is an entreaty for us to know that no matter what; we are all called to be part of the wild wonderful family of things. At this, I switch the player off.
The wild wonderful family of things ... after some moments that is where I now find myself today. Reminded that we are not simply nurturers, but lovers of God, of music, of dancing, of laughter and creatures who hear the call of the wild wonderful world.
The willingness to be part of the family of things starts to pulse through my veins as it once did – a lifetime ago. Long before my solitary pilgrimage along a very narrow path, and before entering the eye-of-the-needle gate. Before the monastic quietitude ... before the observance ... before the loving..... before the healing ... before the joy.
My now hot bowl of celery soup nourishes and seems to seep through to my very bones. And, I realize, that beyond a solitary journey, I have been made part of God’s healing for friends and family close around me. Now I am being given grace, at the point of burnout.
The wild wonderful family of things …Yes, even small things. The red colours which I have placed around me lately. A colour in which I want to immerse. I will seek its unabated energy and courage, its fire and its passion.
I dance a little, holding up failing pyjama pants - my tired body begins to grow younger … and then I dance some more. A creature response to a poet's creature call.
While bathing and dressing thoughts of tomorrow when the sun will shine and will dry my wet red jumper on the clothes line. We will be able to get the red ball off the roof, which little Sam misses so much. Looking through the rain splattered window, my mind is carried to gentle green seas, blue breezes and bird-bright places.
And, with a flush of gratitude I see that I have grown a goodly tinge of red to take me on to a wiser-willingness and that I may join again the wild wonderful world of things.
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