oh, i remember this place…

i don’t get to take anything with me.
not one of my treasured books, nor any of the china tea cups that i drink my tea from.
i arrived in the early hours of a morning in May with nothing but a fading knowledge of the place i was sent from. please don’t try and convice me otherwise, because this is all that makes sense, that i am spirit-from-somewhere-else, somewhere etched into my rib bones, but the memory has faded, although it still breathes and some day, when i slip away, i shall look around with a sigh, and say:

oh…i remember this place! oh, i am home again.

i might be fortunate enough to leave peacefully, my life pressed down and filled with riches and colour, that cobalt blue sea glass on my desk, the yellow roughskin lemons on my granny’s lemon tree.
still, in my wake i will have left marks behind, some will be small scars—friendships that failed to thrive, words that escaped the walls of my mouth before i could look them over one more time.
aren’t we all shaped by what we have been given?
i have been kindness and grace too, thank goodness.
i have so often attempted to shape the atmosphere for good, not always succeeding, but still, i have tried.
haven’t we all?

but here is the spine of the thing that i started with, the story that i am trying to tell:

i cannot take anything with me.
how wonderful this is.
really, this means the pressure is off.
think about it.
there is no need to gather what doesn’t really matter, although there is beauty in this world and it makes everything so very worthwhile.
perhaps it is sweet tea from a flask, whilst sitting in the car, the rain over Long Loch, my eyes still keen enough to spot treasure, my heart still wide open enough to consider it as such.
but this is a small truth with two mouths—the things that we feather our lives with, in spite of their beauty, perhaps their convenience, how they afford us ease, and often, so wrongly, the permission to breathe, to take up space in this world.
they don’t.
all the lies we pick up with our small hands, how we allow them to tell us who we are.
there is freedom to be found when you slow down, perhaps even more so when you are forced to get off the road, forced to travel the rest of the journey on foot. all the things stay behind.
and eventually even our stories flutter and fade.
how we all arrive here still smelling like God’s perfume, all with the same note in our lunch tin:

be good, have fun, i’ll pick you up later, i love you.

and afterwards, how we all leave through the same door, how we cross the same threshold with nothing—all equal.

what a gift.

© Liezel Graham 2023

{📷 scenes from my week}


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