Tuesday, April 13, 2021

bamboozled by the goats


by the goats

I told Eduardo
drive safely 
as he headed off to teach 35 km away in the city

He shouted back up the stairs
don't be bamboozled by the goats

so I googled it

to deceive by underhanded methods
to throw off thoroughly
or completely

to be in extreme shock or surprise

It is true
bamboozled me
I was totally boozled

I stood at their door 
grain bucket in hand for Chamela

she is older
I called her
but she was slow
she didn't want to be 
bamboozled either so she just stood there 

in flew Ntomi
mature and aiming for the status
of Queen goat
She ran right into me
through me
over me
caught me off guard
innocently holding a grain bucket at their door to freedom and twelve more filled grain buckets

I grabbed her with my free hand
held on as I was knocked backwards
I wouldn't let go
but in this "I want to be Queen world"
she pushed harder 
down I went

I still wouldn't let go

by now nineteen other goats decided that this door to freedom was theirs also

I was still holding on

after being slaughtered at the gate/door
nineteen heavy sharp footed beasts
having run over my splayed body
(I am still holding on to Ntomi)
I got up

chased them all back in 

no small feat

I held my thumping breast 
which hurt dramatically
my first thought
a heart attack
as I stood there 
but strong
my chest

just ribs
I am sure two broken

it has been a full week
and I can breath bigger
a little
I can laugh more
sort of
and as I smile 
I believe I will live
after being bamboozled
by my goats

so here I am
a gloriously sunshiny day
off to hopefully not
be bamboozled
by my goats 

a new day

no bamboozling
said Eduardo
I smile

my favourite things

                                                                                                        our Sihle ... just kidding around 
                                                                                                          our favourite things

I just wonder


~ I do wonder how much time we have left on this earth. I do not worry about it, I just wonder.

these are the words
of my dear Dawn
a friend I have never seen
or met in person

but I know she is there

funny thing this thing called belief

I believe she is there
but I cannot see her

I have seen photos
I have followed her blog
we have shared on Facebook
we have emailed each other
we have sent cards and gifts in the mail to each other
even her husband is my friend
I have messaged their son Harry
and their daughter Joyce
I have prayed for each of them when they were down
or sick
I have laughed with them when they have dog parties
and I am amazed how that on their part of the world they live on a street
much like the one I have walked down on my side of the world
we have had wind and snow on the same days
we do crafts and ride bicycles
our husbands are servants in church
here and there
I have wept when their pastor friend passed of covid
and when Dawn lost her mother and then her sister
I wept and prayed
I was shaken when their daughter came down with covid
then Russ
and Dawn
I was more shaken when Joyce healed
but they didn't

and then they did
Joyce tending to their needs
I was shaken again
to hear Dawn was only skin on bone
that covid had wrought damage
to her digestive system

shaken to prayer
shaken to believe
shaken to remember my love for these people I have never seen
but that I keep dear in my heart

we are all praying now
so many holding them up to the throne of Grace
sweet Jesus
where mercy is and help in time of need

Today a good report came
Russ shared:
She has seemed to be much better today.
yesterday she wrote me
I do wonder how much time we have left on this earth. I do not worry about it, I just wonder.

I know she is here

just as I know God is here

I am blessed to have seen God 
been in His presence

twice I spoke so plainly with Him
Face to face

when one is dying we see Him plainly
our vision is on the heavenly
I was twelve and dying
He came for me
The Host of Heaven all bright
The Father brighter
He said I could come
or stay
I saw my dad's eyes full of fear and pain
to lose his daughter

and I said to God
I will stay
HE smiled and the Host and the Brightness faded
But I saw them come and go
and I knew
they were still there
and that dying was not sad but joyous for the one leaving

staying was for my dad and it did not make me sad to stay for him

all that glory and the rapturous joy 
would wait

I know Dawn will find this same joy 
on the day she leaves this world behind
but I feel Russ is like my dad
and he needs her presence here still
we all do
She is light and brightness to so many

after God said I could go
or stay
I fell back to sleep
and my fever left me

I woke refreshed
my people rejoiced
my dad smiled big

some have never seen God yet believe
God says 'more' blessed are they who have 'not' seen Him
yet believe

fear not 
Jesus said
I have overcome the world

Dawn is somewhat better today
I pray for tomorrow
and the next tomorrow 
and the next and on and on
until Dawn knows it is okay

because there are all sorts of her family
and friends
and us
who still need the light that she is to us
Russ needs her

Father dear Abba Father
you breathe life into all of us
thank you for healing and life
that you breathe anew each day
in our friend Dawn

we truly thank You
You our Creator God
our Redeemer God
ever with us

I wonder at Your Wonder

my favourite things

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Our world keeps changing but He doesn't

our world keeps changing
one day all is well
we wake and all resembles 
the things we always love

the sun coming through soft on my beloved's face
as we wake to the early dawn
the breeze wooing softly through the poplars
all seasons with their own song of praise
branches raised, leaves flitting
or falling or
snow covered and muted
the birds varied through the seasons
singing along
the Winter chickadees
their Spring song
the song of geese returning
the trill of the robins
the owl's night call
the ravens at play
through the day
the junco's twitting
the songs we love

each day

but then something changes
to some
the one you wake up to is no longer at your side
their children weep
the little birds in your cage
take their last flight
and the years or days of their song
is played over and over in your mind
and though your heart remembers
your heart also aches to hold and see
and touch... to hear afresh the day's 'new' song
to smell the familiarity
that melts away
like the Spring snow

cat Kali
she sits stretched out on my legs
taking in my sweet 'love you Kali' words
then she is up and walks over to the cage
she also misses
the familiarity
that breathed into all our days
its sweetness

now silence

the sun is filtering through the poplars
casting dancing shadows on the logs
the van is stuck in the Spring mud
the goat kids are calling
the rooster crows
my little quail is waiting for my hike down the hill
to start my day
so he can call out
hello and set my heart to dancing...

I need to remember to breathe 

sometimes it hurts to breathe
but the geese are still singing their Spring song
coming home to raise families
they need my raised voice to theirs
welcoming them back
telling them to be safe 
and have lots of kids.... with wings
praying we would all be strong enough 
to take flight 
each day
to find the miracles still left to us
to find the grace to heal
to let joy embrace us

it is not bad this last flight stuff
if only we could see where they fly

and remember to believe that He still holds them
and us
that though our world keeps changing

He still sees every bird that falls
He sees the father that left his family too early
He sees the young ones who can hardly cope
He says to them

and He breathes His life back into ours

He gives us 
and faith
and love
enough to go on

new and afresh each day

when our world keeps changing

He doesn't

my favourite things

Sunday, April 4, 2021

my favourite things/ eggs and a little girl

and a little girl

they go together 
you know
like peas in a pod
ladybugs on a log
whipping cream
and maple syrup

I have two little Bobbi's
from my egg girl

they fill Bobbi's cage with song again
two parrotlets

Blue and Gas

my little egg girl
said my heart was too sad
after losing 

so we played with Bobbi eggs
and incubated them
candled them
hid them 

and found them again
and listened to the new bird songs

It was a real Easter
the eggs and birds were the treasures of new life


a little girl
with a heart
filled with love

It is what Jesus gave

eggs and a little girl
new life

my favourite things


Saturday, February 27, 2021

We are Broken and He holds us

it was years ago
when they 
would call in the night
and I would go to their bedside
and comfort them
I would be brave with them
and cry and laugh with them

I would do it again
only I would stay longer

and sing longer

and hold longer

Now they are grown
with kids of their own
who call in the night 
and in the day

they hold them
they cry and laugh with them
they are brave with them

sometimes I didn't know
what the deep fears were that would wake them
sometimes they would tell me 
and I would try to help them paint 
a different picture in their head
in their mind's eye
in their heart 

to replace the fearful one

One day when they were young
a dog had ravaged our farm while 
we were driving home from holidays.

coming in to our farm we saw goats scattered and torn on the ground
the unhurt ones stuck their heads out of A-frames when they saw us and came out to be with us

we were devastated 

my little four year old held my hand as we walked the hillside
the little one in my back pack looked over my shoulder

it was very quiet
and Shoshi said 
as she looked up at me
are you sad?

how do you fix hurt in a little one's brokenness
how do you fix what their little heart holds

Our beautiful Aunt Stella had left us that week
and found her Heaven home

my Shoshi had loved her
we had African violets scattered on all our windowsills
because of Aunt Stella
she was old and played the piano
she would walk slowly and carefully to the piano bench
and would take time to be seated
this amazing woman
who played church organ
and grew violets
and prayed for her son

she would then sit tall
and her fingers would come alive and dance
she could dance along that piano for a full hour
she was all life

so when she died
my kids were sad
and I knew we had to paint a new picture in their mind's eye

In heaven she had a hillside pasture
in the radiant sunshine
she had her grand piano
and was no longer tired
and weak

her whole being danced with that grand piano
and the flowers bloomed on that lush green hillside with her

Shoshanna wanted to paint another picture
to change the goat sadness

so we put all our baby goats
six of them
and one mama
we put them all on that hillside with dear Aunt Stella
while she played
they ran and jumped
some up on that heavenly piano
she was laughing and playing
and there was just so much joy

now every time we remember that day
and the sadness
we have a new painting in our mind's eye 
and we can smile 
and see the beauty
and laugh joyously together 

we know that one day
we will be there too
then all the sadness will be gone

I would like to go back 
and hold them longer
sit with them and just listen longer
and really hear what their little hearts
are saying

I want them to know 
they are everything to me
that I will always be there for them

now they are grown
with kids of their own

I get to hold them
these new little ones

they don't always want to be held
but in my heart I hold them tight

I must also release them to the Lord
as I did mine
because I know some things hurt too much to even tell mommy

and I know He holds them

He will sing to them
and laugh and weep with them
and heal them

we are all broken somehow
and He holds us

that is the picture I will paint with my little ones
in our mind's eye
in our heart

we were broken 
but now
we are all together running in the green meadows
all laughing together
the flowers are beautiful and the music is sweet

and He holds us

my favourite things

Thursday, January 7, 2021

all the stars in the sky

the stars
are my friends

on dark sky nights
they brighten the snow for me
while the moon overhead
shines with them

I need only lift my eyes
to see the story they will tell

in the daytime
I lift my eyes to the hills
I catch the sun playing upon the poplars and birch
scattered over pine and spruce
little dancing sunbeams
awakening something within me
attuned to joy
making my steps light
as baa and neigh sounds
call me to hurry up
and drop some hay

at night  
I leave the warmth of 
our home...
games of round rummy...
and Kali cat
who prefers the curling up on a lap
and soft caresses 

I head out
and before I can close the door
I catch the song of my quail
my little feathered 
of the night
always singing to me

the night air quickens me
this coldness some nights bring
that can make my eyelashes stick together

I listen for Mr Owl's 
who whoos
from the lone cottonwood far across the field
we are parrots
the two of us 
and we play 
our game

now watching where to put my old weathered feet
the 65 years of walking and cajoling 
they have done
I head down our steep hill
taking deep breaths  
energy bursting in and out  
and I always giggle at the 
amazingness of it

I love the snow's soft cushioning
and sometimes it's ice
do I squish
or slide?

checking Shoshi's firebox
I leave smelling like  
a Christmas fir tree
and it makes
my nose happy

I drop hay
to all the critters
their complaining changing to sighs
and soft munchings

I close my eyes 
and sit on my ageless old ladder
sighing big
for all this fineness
for all the healing 
this day has been 

Willow dog
sits at my side
I notice she sighs too
God with us

us restored

walking home
is easier
milk bucket in hand
work done
snow scooped
manure moved
water given
animals content

I put down my bucket

do my swirl around...

this 65 year old weathered dance of ours

the Night and Day Maker
and me

This One who lightens the heart of everyone
He who formed us from the womb:
He says 
"I am Yahweh, 
who makes all things; 
who alone stretches out the heavens; 
who spreads out the earth by Myself."

looking up my heart is light as I find all my familiar star friends
the Big Dipper spilling out as usual all its fullness upon Shoshi's home
her and the kidlets asleep
I follow to the North Star
then the Little Dipper 
my eyes find the group clustered like the moles on my arm
small and squished together
I don't know all their real names
the ones God gave when He alone
placed them where they are
but I know God knows

He shows me
my favourite three

the ones spread in a line
like three kings 
and this night they are just above 
our home

asking if the King is in

will He find room
In this Inn 

my soul sings out to Him
this One who quickens us 
that we might be one with Him 
and the Father 

I know He prays for us
that we might also be one
with each other

His children
as many as 

A.L.L. T.H.E. S.T.A.R.S. I.N. T.H.E. S.K.Y.

my favourite things

bible verse from Isaiah 44:24



Wednesday, January 6, 2021

sunsets and sunrises

                                                                                                                          Photo by Jaimee Fletcher

everyone is watching sunsets
and sunrises

the photos are glorious
all pink and softness
wrapped around all our snowflakes
lying deep on the frozen earth
moments of brightness
that makes one

it doesn't seem as if winter has been so long
and now the days are lengthening
we are not asleep 
when the sun rises
and sets

It is joyous
this sharing 
that lightens our hearts
colours of warmth
that spark our spirits
and awakens us
each one to share with their neighbour
the beauty they caught 
as they looked out a window
or took a walk
or were off on horseback

It is joyous
this waking

and then I remember
we still have three months

and that can stretch to six
before snow melts 
and green grass
meets our smiles
and gives us 
as much joy as 

and God will wrap that around our hearts
and everyone will post pictures
of new calves 
and baby goats
and kids 
running barefoot

and we will laugh together
this sharing of 
too full 
with the beauty

it will spill from
one heart to 

from God's

to ours

we will call it Spring

my favourite things


                                                                                       photo by Jessica Field