22 July 2014


she lived free
to run, exploring
and defending the acres
that were her home

her only trips away
were to the kennel 
for boarding or the vet 
she went cheerfully to both
with tail wags and licks
always willing to share
her joy in the moment

even the pain that settled
in her bones did not hinder 
her desire to give love

yesterday morning
was no different she jumped 
happy into the backseat
of the car, only surprised
that I chose to climb in beside her
instead of taking my usual place 
in front, next to "the boss"
she didn't know 
it was her last ride

she didn't flinch or complain
when the veterinary assistant
held her back leg so the doctor
could shave through the thick fur
making room for the needle

she was too busy
giving and receiving affection
as we held and stroked her
cherishing each of her sweet kisses
as much as she enjoyed bestowing them
until the lure of sleep
called far too strong
and she lay down her head
breathing peaceful into death
in the same way she lived
with a rhythm all her own

joining Kelli where rhythms are never forced


19 July 2014

aptitude of stillness

No domestic animal can be as still as a wild animal. 
The civilized people have lost the aptitude of stillness, 
and must take lessons in silence from the wild 
before they are accepted by it.
Isak Dinesen (Out of Africa)

I will to be still
to listen and hear
to watch and see
each new moment
an adventure 
to breathe
taste and tell

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
seeking the stillness with Sandy


preparing for goodbye

The longest I have ever been away from home
for work, or pleasure, or short term mission
is three weeks, but now
we are in final preparation
for two years in Zambia and Malawi

the fulfillment of dreams brings
packing, paperwork, prayer
and a long series of goodbyes
perhaps one of the most difficult
will be the first, scheduled for Monday morning

my beautiful girl Faith
has grown stiff with age
the brilliant blue of her eyes
fading with years and pain
anti-inflammatory drugs
have given her time
to run, jump, play
enjoying the acreage
that has been her only home
Rick and I her only owners

she has known love
and given love
life has been good
and twelve years long

I cannot bear the thought
that she would continue to ache
or grow confused in our absence
waiting and wondering
when we would return

all this, and then the lumps
appearing at random
beneath her thick fur
forced this impossible decision

Monday morning
we will release her
back to her Creator
holding her paws, as the medicines 
remove the pain permanently
filling her with peace

a peace we can take comfort in
even as it will take longer
to find us

Velvet Ashes: encouragement for women serving overseas
linking up with my friends at The Grove at Velvet Ashes

16 July 2014


Rick did not plant
this year, knowing
we are leaving 
mid season, why spend
time and money
on what we can not harvest
and yet
a few flowers
are springing up wild
amongst the weeds
a delight of colour
a gift, unexpected
a tickle 
from a loving Father
His beauty on display


15 July 2014

lasts and firsts

this is a season
of both endings
and beginnings, firsts
and lasts

yesterday we drove through the park
under the glory of His painted skies
headed to a town two hours from home
for the last time before we leave

we made the most of the day
happy in each other's presence
checking things off our shopping list

in the middle of our series of lasts
we chose to share a first
and instead of a sensible lunch
we dove into a dish of poutine
a French Canadian standard

french fries crisp
cheese curds melting 
beneath hot dark gravy
we savoured simply
to say we had, finally

knowing we wouldn't have
the opportunity later
for the days after the days 
of lasts will be filled
with other firsts
too many to count

we licked salty lips
left smiling


11 July 2014

eating the stillness

Silence helps us to understand our inner self. 
If we want to understand God's way for us, 
silence is needed. 
Stillness and quiet are like nourishment
O.S.B. André Gozier

all I want, need
to know
is the stillness
in Him, of Him
with Him
may I open wide my mouth
and see that He is good

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
seeking to be still with Sandy



there is a sense of urgency
to the work I press myself to do
the packing, the paperwork
the running about to set things in place

this is new ground
never have we packed up a life
to leave it behind
crossing cultural bridges
to follow God's call 
to Malawi

Rick's last day at work is July 31st
the plan my mind holds
is to be finished or near finished
with all but the packing of suitcases

this will leave us
eighteen days in August
to gather with loved ones
those we have held
and will continue to hold
dear in our hearts

eighteen days
to dive into the work
of goodbyes
to embrace
to laugh
to cry

strange to think
that enjoy could describe tears
but oh, their taste
even salty
shall be sweet

Velvet Ashes: encouragement for women serving overseas

sharing in community at the Grove at Velvet Ashes

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