On how to live.

Do not think it

a small thing

to be

alive

today.

Go

and

squander

it,

foolishly

if you must,

on the sun

and

the trees

and

the rain

if you

might be that

fortunate

to have

freedom

in your body

and

your mind.

But do not

curl inward

to die

long

before

the music

stops.

Live

sumptuously,

feasting

on the sound of the wind

susurrating

through the trees.

Soak

up the

rich

death of

Autumn leaves

until

you glow

with a life

lived bravely

and

it is time to

sigh

your

farewell.

But not

until.

Not until.

—On how to live.

© Liezel Graham 2018.

Magnificat.

I have

known

the desperate

song

of Hannah

within my bones.

A

supplication

for a womb,

to

be

filled.

To be

remembered,

if only

once,

by the

One

Who calls the

barren

to life.

And

every day,

within your

eyes,

I see

that I

was

always

seen.

And

you,

were always

there.

Waiting

for

just

the

right

moment

to

become

a tree

of life.

This longing,

fulfilled.

And

forever

you

are

His.

Held.

Safe in the Hands

that

formed

your frame

deep within

secret

places.

And

she

who

was

hungry

for

life

to

grow

within;

hungers

no more.

—Magnificat.

{Today is my son’s birthday. We waited ten years for him to arrive. And his every smile reminds me that I am seen, by the One who calls the barren to life.}

I am no longer hungry for what you could not give.

I was left

with all these

holes

in the fabric of my

heart,

because

you

could not give

me,

what

you did not

possess.

But,

I nurtured them

in silence.

Filled them with beauty.

And see now,

flowers have grown

where there once

was

nothing.

— I am no longer hungry for what you could not give.

(I look for) Beauty in the midst of.

If I should

die,

before

I had hoped

to.

Remember

me

as one who

listened

for the nightingale’s

song

in the darkness.

— (I look for) Beauty in the midst of.

A moment in time.

We have had had some unseasonably hot, albeit pleasant weather in Scotland the last couple of weeks. This has resulted in a flurry of activity in our allotment and because it stays light until very late this far North, we have spent some lovely evenings rooting contentedly around our little plot.

A couple of days ago, on one of these fine evenings, we bumped into one of the other allotment plot owners, let’s call him Paul for the sake of anonymity. Seated at one of the battered picnic tables near the shed, he was enjoying a cup of tea from a flask that had seen better days. He had brought his mum, Moira, with him — a tiny, old lady who never quite made eye contact during the conversation. Introductions revealed that she was already well into her nineties, and it didn’t take me long to realise that she had Alzheimer’s disease.

As they strolled around the garden, Paul would patiently point out the different vegetables growing in the plots, and his beautiful mum, wrapped in a heavy winter coat despite the heat, would make appreciative noises, but would then turn to look him in the eye and exclaim that she ‘wished Paul could see this’, to which he would gently reply, “Mum, I am Paul”.

We watched them walk, Paul’s hand on her elbow as he pointed out the different plants and vegetables growing, patiently drawing her back to him each time that she did not recognise him as her son.

It was beautiful, and it was tragic.

A reminder of the cruelty of a disease that can strip a mother of the ability to recognise the child that she birthed and raised, and yet, a poignant reminder of the determined power of a love that can never be destroyed by the monster that is Alzheimer’s.

With us that afternoon, was our 9-year old son, Daniel, who happens to have Autism. Daniel struggles with social interaction, especially with strangers, and so, you can imagine how my heart contracted with a surge of emotion that I still cannot adequately put into words, when he gently took Moira’s frail hand in his and without either of them making eye contact with each other, softly whispered, “Look at her hands, Mom, they are so soft. Is she very old?”

And Moira, quietly stood there, not saying a word, except for the almost bird-like noises that would escape her lips every so often, whilst my son’s fingers explored the transparent skin on the back of her hand.

The moment didn’t last long, but it had a magical quality about it. A sense of something other-worldly taking place between these two strangers — boy and woman — who both inhabit a world that is, at times, inaccessible to the ones who love them.

We spoke a little more until it was time to leave, Moira looking at her son, nodding every so often at what he was saying, and Daniel, tugging at my hand, asking to go home.

And as we said goodbye, I had a sense of something deeply special having happened. I cannot give a name to it, but then again, I don’t think I need to.

— A moment in time.

(Warrior) Mum.

i mourn

the things

that

(this)

life

will not give

to you.

but,

i do not

mourn

you.

— (warrior) mum.

There are days that I mourn what my beautiful boy will never have in this life.

But, I do not mourn him.

He is joy and sunshine and innocence, and my heart is attached to his by an invisible umbilical cord.

He is the answer to desperate prayers and hope fulfilled — treasure in the shape of a boy.

On seeking inner healing.

peace

in my bones.

this is

my gift

to you.

—on seeking inner healing.