27 December 2014

lakeside rejoicing

The waves beat rhythms against the sand in repeating patterns
more than one would expect from a lake 
that is so often glassy and silent. 
Motorized boats for tourist amusement 
or local fisherman at work 
move around the islands at varying speeds 
surrounded by the much smaller wooden dugout canoes 
and kayaks moved by paddles and arm power. 

The air is thick with moisture 
the sweet scent of frangipane blossoms. 
Here, both on the beach and inland, the pace is slow.  
The visitors seem to always have time 
for another beer, another cigarette.  
The only rush I sense 
is how fast people seem to be running 
away from their lives. 

We come here and find God’s glory 
tropical beauty, painted skies.  
We rise early to dive into His word as the sun rises hot
then we cool our fevered skin in the waves.  
From rooms next to us others emerge eyes blurry 
staggering, looking far too rough for coffee to cure.  
They never make it any farther than the bar 
or a lounge chair where collapsing
with no appearance of happiness 
they begin another day of nothingness.  
Another beer.  Another cigarette.  
Laughter loud, echoing falsely.

Some are passing through
others have made this place their home
living off the profits of tourist trade. 
In the shadow of their lost lives
we walk, we swim, and we feast on local fish.  
I open my senses to reel in all that I can contain
ever aware of this vitality
this wanting to be awake and alive.

It was not that long ago 
that I too sought and savoured the numbness. 
So this day my heart and spirit rejoice 
whispering, singing, shouting with thanksgiving. 
What wondrous redeeming grace.


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