Tag Archives: childhood

Creating Encounter in Colour: Seaweed

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So many greens. The brownish tones of bladderwrack, whose name made me wince in imagined pain, little poppable polyps that we loved before bubblewrap was even thought of. The generic dark forest slime slathered across the rocks, coastal combovers, a slip hazard for flip flopped children, so we took ours off and risked gashes and jagged edges rather than not being able to feel our way with our soles. Sand caught on our feet gave us a tiny bit of traction, but we still slid off and flung our arms out to balance ourselves, rockpool tidal tightrope walkers.

Tiny crabs hid under fronds and someone, probably Monsieur Cousteau, had taught me that these were not leaves. Here were hidey holes for entirely new forms of life, creeping, like us, around the edges of ocean, wondering what was what. Even then, I knew my plastic bucket jarred against all nature’s magnificence, with its hard manufactured texture and artificial colour. The bullhead I caught in it, alien eyes bulging, was given a few strands of spinach green to hide itself in, until it was time to release it back into the sea. The capture of such treasure all on my own, in my smallness, fed my happiness all summer long, and taught me the beginnings of diving for pearls in mystic prayer, the joy of glimpsing life in salt water pools, and the realisation that all life is magical.

text © K Dibbens-Wyatt  Photo from Pixabay

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Lent 10

dad and peacock butterfly

Perhaps we should give up clothing glimpses of the Glory with our utterly insufficient speech.  We stand in the cleft with Moses and the back of Glory passes us by, and we charge at it with butterfly nets like tiny toddlers, falling over our own feet as we try to catch sparks that escape through the holes. We only look foolish. As though we might pin down anything of such Wonder!

Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018

Landscape of Love 102: Adventure Playground

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“Scope for imagination” a-plenty: walking planks and setting sail, exploring and climbing high, lost in another world the grown-ups cannot enter, having long forgotten the password. Here are lost boys and foundling girls, fairies and sprites, caught in caverns and towers. Up and down, round and back, sliding and swinging through air woven thick with fantasy. Dragons and heroes abound, orangutans swing and sing, everyone out of breath and zinging with fun. Mountains of make-believe, the sacred ground of play, too holy for sandals. You must be this short, to enjoy the ride.

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

Photo from Pixabay

 

NEW BOOK OUT SOON! I’ve been a bit quieter than normal folks, preparing my book “Whale Song: Choosing Life with Jonah” – launching this month. More soon!

 

62: Unwanted

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No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised.” Ezekiel 16:5 NLT

That we might be ultimately unwanted is one of the deepest and most hurtful lies that the enemy can plant in our souls. When it succeeds in germinating, it is very tough to shift. If you have ever felt unwanted, as though the universe made a mistake letting you in, I am so very sorry for that hurt. Please know that you were created by love and in love and for love, whatever your earthly parenting or early life may have been like. God created you unique and proclaimed you good, and he does not lie. He also proclaimed you loved, time and time and time again. He sings over you with love and delights in you. He longs to mother you and nurture you. He even came down here to show his love for you abroad in the earth by living and dying for you. If not you then no-one, if everyone else, then you too.

The verse after the one above, talking of the Lord’s love for Jerusalem, says that he passed by and saw the unwanted girl child, saying, “Live!” and goes on to speak of the prodigious care he takes over us. He wants us, he sees us, he wants us to make it, to care for us, to help us be all we can be. It shows us too that the Lord sees and is against every abandonment and the heinous practice of exposure, which is far more likely to happen if one is born female. He sees and he cares.

Humans, and especially families, can make us feel unwanted, unloved, unneeded. This is deeply tough if we are abused or adopted for reasons we cannot fathom. Those taking care of us can tell us either outright or by subtle cruelties, that we were a mistake, an accident or a regret. But love knows better, and love is better.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:15-16 NIV

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Pixabay

 

34: Homesick

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For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” 2 Corinthians 5:4 NIV

My first experience of home sickness was when I went to stay for a couple of nights with a school friend. I was about six years old. I thought it would be fun, but the whole time I just wanted to go home. I wanted familiar things and people around me, so I cried and cried. On the second day my friend’s parents drove us to the seaside, to Weston Supermare, a famous British beach where the tide goes out for miles. I wept the whole way there, desperate for home and my own parents, looking back out of the rear windscreen towards where I thought they were. The strength of my feelings shocked and upset me, and my hosts were none too pleased either. I remember my friend’s mother got particularly narked, since she was determined we were to have fun no matter what. This soppy six-year-old crying her eyes out was scuppering her perfect plans.

When things are extra tough as they are at the moment, I long for home. I really want to not have to face the daily grind of lack and ill health, and to be able to come home to my heavenly father’s dwelling place. I long for that sense of peace and the idea of being fully known. I have had a taste here on earth by the grace of God, of what that relationship might begin to taste like, and I yearn for more.

But there is work to be done. And this is true for all of us, whether we are consciously in the Lord’s service or not. I don’t know how my writing or art might ever be used of the Lord, but I hope it will be, and because I am his servant I must carry on. But I do not continue without groaning, or feeling burdened. I daily feel heavy with the heartache of it all.

One of my dearest friends calls me her snail, and hopefully not just because I am slow. These days I find that home is being with God and so in a way, I can carry my home around with me wherever I go. This is a great comfort. I love being creative and I love prayer which is the mainstay of my life, and these things sustain me in my tiny life, but there are many times when I feel like a castaway who often looks out to sea with a profound yearning to journey home, or like that little me who looked back through the car window all the way to the beach.

Paul speaks this longing out in his beautiful way, saying that we feel naked without our true bodies. An amazing metaphor for the hunger to be really ourselves, knowing deep down that we are immortal beings whose souls need to fly home to their legitimate nesting place in the heart of God, as one day we shall.

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Morguefile

148: Treehouse

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A place for secret safe-keeping, looking down on the world and its scurrying antics. A cross-legged comic reading haunt. The desire to clamber up and find you always there, even now, grown and my climbing days bound up with the wheeled chariot. All the things we wanted to discover and did not find, even where they should have been, set on smooth wide branches crying out for a child-loving carpenter. Alas no sign. So instead the treehouse existed only in our imagination, much as it still does, sitting beneath a rug for a tent, or snuggled in a duvet, I know I gaze onwards through the dense woodland, breathe in the sweet, rot-tainted scent of fallen leaves. Even here, hermitted in a house of bricks, with my eyes shut, I own a telescope and a pirate flag, books and a box of treasures nestled in the corners, an altar in your limbs, plimsolled feet curtailed in the dust, and see further than ever before.

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015