And the Ancestors Spoke


TRUTH SCULPTURE Carol Hopkins photo

And the ancestors spoke and said

“Child, find your voice”

“Do not sit mutely watching the world go by”

“Use your voice and remind the people of the price of silence”

The price of silence, they gave me to understand:

Injustices, heartache, pain on every level of one’s being

But I answered them, “I have not your strength, I am weak”

And that quiet voice I attribute to them wisely advised:

“Even an infant cries out for what it needs; even a child loves, if taught love”

And then I whined and rationalized and said again,

“I am not wise. I do not understand”

They answered, “Hear us, then, let us teach you …

Sit by the ocean, feel the moisture of the waves as the wind brings it to you

And the scent of the briny air

Walk in the forest feel the softness of the earth beneath your feet

Hear the birds sing and insects buzz

Go to the mountains and look up at the wonder before you

Feel its majesty and grandeur

Venture out into the dessert and on the sandy dunes feel the sun hot upon your skin

Visit the fields and meadows and dig in the soil for plants that nourish

And when you know the blessings of the earth turn and share them

As the wind brings moisture to the land, give drink to those who thirst

As the forest offers shelter, give shelter to those in need

As the mountains make us pause in wonder, give joy and wonder to those who despair

As the sun heats the dessert, bring warmth and compassion to those who are cold

As the fields and meadows offer sustenance, feed those who hunger

But most of all, feel, for when you feel deeply you will not turn from another in need”

And so, I found my voice, and though it may be soft and weak, I will use it here

Thank you, Ancestors

 

 

 

The Empty Bed


In the empty bed

Sound asleep I stretch out my hand

Seeking you, but you are not there

Panicked, I awaken to check on you

Aw, false alarm, you are merely answering nature’s call

I think of the day to come when you are no longer there

So many close calls, too many times, leave me anxious

Worry over that, which I cannot control, is a wasted effort, I know

But it is a hard road to travel, this path we are on

I try not to give it too much thought or too much energy

But in the dead of night, in an empty bed, it is hard not to dwell

On a life without you and what it may mean

Life has not been what we envisioned, nor what we dreamed

Yet, still and all, I would not change a thing

We’ve had many adventures, you and I

And in the end, we cannot know

Who will be the first to go

So once again I banish maudlin thoughts

And fight off macabre things

We are here now, you and I

And that means everything

On the road to redemption


ROAD 2 ALTERED

On the road to redemption

You may experience pain like –

Like falling on an upturned glass bottle that is broken and jagged,

That gashes deep into your skin and bone

Tearing tendons and ripping away sinew

 

On the road to redemption

You may be rejected, vilified, and tormented

And that will hurt you, rob you of much-needed rest

As your thoughts tumble one after another

Like a cascade of frothing water

And you may feel unable to stop the leak

That drips incessantly and poisons your days

Like a dam full of holes

You may feel like you’re drowning – but you won’t

 

On the road to redemption

You may experience loss and grief

A death perhaps, or the tearing away of a life you thought was assured

A change that forces you to re-examine all you once held dear

And leaves you questioning your sanity

And your equilibrium

As your life spins out of control on some kind of crazy tilted axle

Until you barely know which way is up or which is down

 

On the road to redemption

You will be tested, time and time again

Your character will be formed as lessons are learned

As you are baptized in fire –

A fire that you think will consume you – but it won’t

 

On the road to redemption

You may be tortured by life, but –

Look for the helpers and they will appear

They will pour sweet balm upon your soul

And plant peace deep within your heart and mind

A peace that leaves you rested and healed

A peace ‘beyond understanding’

On the road to redemption

Hills, valleys, and plateaus


On top of the hill

Where life is fine

And blessings flow

Like a soft spring rain

Joy surges and surges again

But down in the valley

Where life seems hard

And tears flow

Like plummeting waterfalls

That seem to have no end

And have within them sharpest shards

That cut deeply into the soul

Rendering it helpless and forlorn

It is then we must remember

There will be a plateau

A resting place

Where neither great joy nor great sorrow

Reaches.

The plateau

Where most of life is lived

Where we get up each day to well-known routines

The sometimes ho-hum days of existence

Where joyful blessings are taken for granted

We do not remember the blessings

Nor the pain that once had us down on our knees,

That too is forgotten in the daily grind

Of earning our bread

But the lessons of the valley and the rewards of the hills

Should never be taken for granted

During our time on the plateau

the joys should be like leavening to bread

Helping us rise once again

To a brand new day

And the pain

Serve to remind us

Of blessings

That we will know one day again

For life is a series of ups and downs

But neither lasts forever