Category Archives: Phenomena

28. Raindrops (sense of wonder)

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A little out of focus, but to me, that just makes them look more like the photo was taken through a blur of tears, which is appropriate since the water drops look like tears on the branches. Even something that reminds us of sadness can be a source of awe, as we meditate on the miracle of water, of emotions, of the freeing, healing grace that can be poured out if the sky really cries.

Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

 

Landscape of Love 93: Volcano

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No matter how wet the firewood, how damp the kindling, one word from the glowing prophet and water itself will catch alight around your holy altar! The Lord’s lava flowing from the places where the ground opens up under your unsandalled feet, the cracks ‘neath crucifixion’s fulcrum filling to the brim stone with sulphurous spewing holy raging song that cascades up hills and down dales making a mockery of the highs and lows we spend so much time measuring.

All this time we had the power streaming beneath us, and we did not know. And as the bones of Ba’al’s believers rattle in a bleached latticed path before us, we can walk over molten earth and not be burned, the scorched and scarred lands are not our destination, for we head towards waters of love, even as we have, ourselves, become flame.

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

Photo from Pixabay

Landscape of Love 91: Grotto

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Pale blue lady, aqua mantled, kindness gazing out from your alabaster face, carved deep into the rock and our hurting souls. You smile, and the world is changed. Adoring the love on your dappled skin, ripples of reflected grace, the water feels less cold somehow, though we are up to our necks; and the tide is of no concern, merely the sea breathing: in and out, in and out. A caverned womb of healing, where we might be knit together once more, and our stretched sinews feel the call to entwine and relax. We go under and rise again, replenished by the carrier of living water.

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

Photo from Pixabay

 

17: Strange Tides

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And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.” Luke 21:25 NLT

When Jesus spoke of the End Times (as we tend to call them) the signs sound terrifying. This verse tells us that the very things that mark our time, our days, nights, months and years, will be out of sync. It would make sense if odd things were happening in the solar system, that seas and tides would be affected, and no wonder that there would then be turmoil. And yet afterwards, on the other side of Judgement Day, Revelation tells us that there will be no seas, no moon or sun, no day or night. So perhaps these things too are passing from one kind of reality to another, just as all souls on earth will do.

I love the sea, or rather, as a card carrying landlubber, I love looking at it, and hearing its sounds, so it makes me sad to think of it disappearing. God though, always changes or redeems things for the better, so I am reassured to know that though things will be very different when heaven finally comes to earth, they will be infinitely better. I have a sneaking theory too, that the seas will remain but become fresh water, fed from the river of Living Water that streams out of the Temple in those days. But I’d be hard pushed to make a theological case for that….

The Lord goes on to speak of war, famine, pestilence, betrayal and persecution unto death for those who believe in him. It is worth remembering that eleven out of the twelve Disciples were martyred, and John only escaped because being boiled in oil somehow didn’t kill him, and endured banishment instead. Being a Christian sometimes has a high price.

But though none of this is really comprehensible to us, and we can grow fearful of what may happen, or even become obsessed by eschatology, as many sects and Evangelicals have, our focus needs to be not on how the supposed Rapture will come and how many will be saved, but on Jesus. Whilst some may read these events as linked to environmental disaster, and still others like Donald Trump, see no further than the ends of their noses, tweeting erudition like “It’s freezing out there today. Where is “global warming?” we need to see the signs, but to read them as birthing pains.

When the world is in chaos, and all is turned upside down, when the enemies of our faith come for us, as has happened and is happening in many parts of the world today, it is our witness that will matter, given by words from the Holy Spirit. And the Lord’s advice to us when all is in turmoil? To stay alert, to not trust in our own words but in his which shall never pass away, and to “…straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28 NLT partial). When the sky falls, when the earth crumbles under us, then we find out on what we stand. Not on the fear of a Chicken Licken world, determined to panic, or on the ostrich-vision of politicians, their heads full of wet sand, but on something more reliable than tides, and more permanent than even the very stars in the sky.

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Morguefile.com

162: Crossroads

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The light of love streams in from the left and the living water bubbles through on the right, and the twain meet over my bare earthed toes. And here I am Lord, listening for your voice, waiting for your tap on the shoulder, the peace in my heart, to tell me which is the best direction. And all I hear is a third way. Why choose a path? Why not stand here and grow? The world says hurry, the world says pick one, the world says keep moving, the world says go.

Why not stay? Why not stand? Why not look about you? Why not grow deep down roots and tall swaying branches and reach for more sunlight and brooks of lapping light? Where is it you have to rush off to? Where are you journeying, except towards death, who will find you sure enough here on the forest floor when the time comes? Why not meet her here on your own territory, on your own terms and turf? When she sidles up, you will feel her footsteps in the soil, and the weariness in your sap, and you will be ready, after a life wisely lived, not spent searching out the inevitable.

Stand in my love-light-life and be a tree. Grow and spread, dive and delve. Be the marker of meeting, the embodiment of encounter, the tree of my trysting. All is here.

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

 

151: Snowfall

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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

 

 

150: Tarmac

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In the bleakness of almost December I think back, I remember, as my skin cracks in the cold, those long summer days of melting heat, when I stretched too far for my own surface and ran liquid across the road. I think of the bicycle stands sinking slowly into the depths of tar, like maybe trapped dinosaurs once did, and of tyre tracks that span conglomerate up into the air, spitting back down like hot hail.

For the cold is here now causing me to huddle my black beauty around centres of strength, and the weak places split like an old man’s smile. Lined I am now by more than white apartheid borders, yellow forbidden zones and cats’ eyes down my spine. Are you on the left or right? Or do you travel a middle way? Whichever you are can you see that those on the other side are as right or left as you are? For the other is not always different, and the seasons pass, and the sun will warm my epidermis again, till I simmer with stickiness like a ready rice pudding, and sparkle in the sun.

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015

143: Estuary

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Sinking deep, stretching wide, belly fulsome with water, here lies a strange and fertile peace. More comings and goings than ever, a release and a welcome of tides, trading salt for fresh,  Living Water meeting Dead Sea; and yet, here a stillness in the expansive mud flats born at the edges and a freedom in the largeness to be anything and everything, as the oyster catchers burst upwards in a frantic flourish, spooked by movement, a spill of white paint on the canvas of a low horizon. Rainclouds crowding in to gaze at their own reflections in the vast bay, before migrating across the ocean on streams unseen.

A yawning place, opening out for exchange, greeting the foreign, pushing out the excess, learning the difference between empty and full and regretting neither. In and out, to and fro, back and forth, the unforced rhythms of grace are louder and softer here than in any place that was merely river.

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015

138: Rivulet

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Unwanted, I imagine, hidden, invisible transparency, narrow as a ribbon. I flow, fast or slow, it doesn’t matter, no-one will notice. I make it over stones and round corners just because, well, it is either that or turn back on myself and sit pooled in the shadows. So on I go, the pain of inadequacy coiled in a core of current, wrapped round a vortex of sorrow, a limpid lamentation.

Yet it is only when I join my siblings; the others come from mountain high, thawed waters and collected tears shoved downhill; that we become a river and can own the name of our togetherness.

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015

 

130: Pond

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Bulging frog eyes, lidded, the first drops of summer storm splatting on the lily platforms beside us. Till moments ago, a chorus sang advice and well-meaning platitudes all around. Now few remain, all flippers flapping downwards, into more familiar wetness where the world stays still. Above and between the waters, some are happy to be manhandled by excessive weather, bruised by heaven- sent tumbling globes, battered by dewdrops. We are refreshed and moved, renewed and serenely unsteadied, glad to know our own uncertainty, we laugh and croak in the rain.

Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015