Saturday, July 30, 2011
The Girl at the Window
She dreams, and in her dreaming is her becoming. Softly, softly, life whispers to her, calling her by name, but she does not yet know how to follow. She is not even certain yet that her name is really her own, she has not yet staked her claim on a definition of her self. That will come later, with time, with life, and, most of all, with love. Love will bring her boldness, to say that this much is me and this much is mine. In the desire to give herself away, she will discover the boundaries of her own being. But not yet; not yet.
Now is the time for dreaming, for wondering. She has known fear, she has known doubt. Night comes, as surely as morning does, and in the night there is uncertainty. There is a world around her whose demands she does not always understand, requiring her to do and to be what an adult world expects of her. It is confusing sometimes, and already her soul is a little bruised, for she dwells in a place where love has not yet been made perfect, where anger and folly and impatience are woven into the very fabric of time. And those who strongly maintain that the sorrows of childhood are insignificant, have forgotten how it feels to be a child, when one’s whole existence is contracted to a crushing word or an upraised hand..
But where the sorrow dwells, the promise and the comfort dwell also, and joy still comes with the morning. In the loveliness of the early light, still unsullied by crossness and crassness, she gazes out upon a world transfigured into beauty, and the shadows of fleeting nightmares are swiftly burned away. And there are some for whom beauty will ever be an open door to faith, for when the heart is lifted up it must respond, however tenderly and uncertainly, with praise and wonder towards the one who has made this possible – the one whose hand is revealed by the thumbprints of glory he leaves on creation.
Not that she has thought it through that far. She is simply a child looking out at the yard. But the deep peace and thankfulness that well up inside her when the light caresses her face with a touch like a blessing make her think of the bible stories she has learned, especially the one about Jesus saying ‘let the little children come to me!’ She has thought, for as long as she can remember, that his lap would be a very safe place to be. It would be exactly the same as that other place they have told her that the bible speaks of – the one where there is no more pain and every tear is wiped away. That is a good place, the best place.
But this here-and-now world is not a bad place either. There is laughter, and shelter and warmth, the satisfaction of accomplishment and a sense of belonging. Sometimes one does not need words to dream, or a certain image of the desired future, it is enough to rest in the bounty of the present moment and lean upon its peace. It is enough to say ‘yes!’ to the coming day. It is enough to reach out tendrils of trust towards the Maker of all things. It is enough to be learning to move one’s hands with compassion and one’s lips with truth, however slow and long the learning. It is enough to be alive and live each morning as a fresh springtime.