Monthly Archives: December 2015

156: Stable

stable mf nagygl

The tremulous glow of a new and ancient holiness emanates from a tightly swaddled package, lain in animal fodder. His mother is dumbstruck by obedient love, of the same kind that will keep him one day bound to a painful end. For what use are words in the presence of God incarnate brought forth from your own body?

Instead he speaks for us, against the accusers and the poisoned gossips. Clear and bright the telling, silencing them as he will later silence the self-righteous scribes with carefully chosen words scratched in sand. The mortifying that they, that we, want to perform, holding the stones in our sweaty hands, angered at the shadow of a splinter caught in the corner of our vision, sticking out of the plank in our own eye.

No, there is no room for our words at the inn, and here in the stable beyond is where it will come to fruition, this saying yes to the indwelling of God’s love, as all of us must do if we are to follow the star, and end sitting empty and speechless in wonder on the straw.

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015

 

155: Sleigh Ride

sleigh

The ever jingling bells only stop when we do, falling quiet as a disciplined choir at rest, waiting dutifully for the next note of the troika, the baton and the whip raised and ready. But we rest here for a moment, silent in the snow as more drifts down to cover our tracks, like a downpour of feathering grace, wiping out the meandering misdemeanours of our errant rails. And the way ahead, so pure and full of promise, glistening in the Light of the World now to come among us, is calling, beckoning bright and full of Christmas cheer.

Right here, right now in this moment between worlds, the pause before the new beginning crescendos, like a swollen belly breathing deep through the pain, resting on the straw floor of an inn. There is a faint tinkling, the angels inhale, a slight sensation of movement readies us, and so it begins.

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015

154: Hollow Tree

olive tree in garden of Gethsemane by Susan v mills Mustard seed for reflection dead centre but new life springing up from the roots.

Seeming death, only the edges of the circle remain, a circumference of thin bark and wiry wood. Gnarled by twisting winds and anni horribili, it is a miracle standing. But the frailty we see is connected to humble earth and living water by a network of strength weaving through the soil, touching bed rock and finding underground springs. Roots of life, branches long lost in the battle finding renewal here, upside down, running counter to all you hold wise.

Depths you will never see are tapped here and the empty core flows with currents of holy breath. Far from empty, the trunk is simply focussed enough to stand back in a ring of awe, making space for the sacred sap to wend its way. And at the outer edge of the garden, a redoubt of young trees wells up from the strength of roots born of sacrificing the centre.

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015

 

Photograph by Susan Mills, used with permission. This is an olive tree growing in the Garden of Gethsemane, which is dead in the centre, but whose root system is alive and thriving, young trees growing all around from the roots. It speaks volumes to me.

153: Boating Lake

frozen lake 153

Smooth and round, ripples ironed out by the cold, a mirror wasteland. A few white feathers drifting or frozen, quills stuck in the ice, curled and wilting. Surface unspeaking of what lies beneath; secret floes and currents unfazed by the stillness above. Life is going about its business, uptails all in the beak-broken centres, fish and frogs lazing or sleeping, coating themselves in muddy bedclothes till the soporific cold dissolves. Spring will come of course, and the anticipation of greening is everywhere, even in stilted sap and in the bare willow branches, bending over the pool, no leafy tears to cry, all are shed. Time now to rest, to breathe cold mist and sing slow soulful laments over the waters.

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015

152: Carousel

carousel

Unstoppably spinning till the seats are empty, the whirlwind of our minds merry-go-rounds and swirls, like giant teacups at the fair, clutching at the sides in case the hot drink goes splashing over the edges. Half the time we are screaming in fun, and the rest, desperate to disembark, like sailors with no faith in the prophesied arrival of sealegs.

And suppose we got our wish, and the machinery ground to a stuttering halt, cogs clanking to a surprised standstill? Would we sit, contentedly, waiting for the inevitability of rust, or would we find ourselves restless and stretching, out of sorts with the motionless existence, like a moonless tide? And if the planet followed suit and was released from its perpetual movement, the godchild we imagine in our smallness bored of its toy and forgetful in spinning of our celestial axis, wouldn’t we then find ourselves flung into space, back seat drivers without the seatbelt of gravity or faith, realising for all our grumbling and protesting that we were created to go around and around and around again?

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015

 

151: Snowfall

151 snowfall

I feel a tingling in the air that crackles at the ends of my fingers. I sense an electricity in the universe of love that vibrates my heart strings in a cadence of hopefulness – even in the midst of despair. It is like the sense of iron in the air before a thick snowstorm, or the bright whiteness of clouds about to burst with hail. That deep, magical half-light that is going to sparkle on some treasures and keep others in the dark. It is the crack in God’s voice as he speaks with love in his throat. It is the yearning expectation of every heart and heart’s eye looking to him in the midst of dreaded and dreadful times.

And the fear falls away as we look up into cavalcades of soft flakes, white covering blessings, crystal masterpieces, icy wonders, and we know and we see, and we cannot count them, only receive, and we hold out hands made holy by the cold light of heaven falling down to earth. We open our mouths and let the frozen breath of God the Father melt on our tongues into the Host of his Son, by the Holy Spirit who dances in the fizz of transformation, in the transubstantiation of ice into living water. And thus in this place of death we are given life and the thaw of our hearts begins. Life is beginning again. Taste the sharpness of blood, and see the world covered in a blanket of loving mercy.

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015