Danny and I spent the weekend out at his mom and step-dad's cottage in central Newfoundland. I always love to visit; it is so peaceful there with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the river. I sat out on the gravel (just up from the flower in this photo) and looked out over the river and listened to the burble of the water and the wind swishing the leaves. I could feel the past few weeks' stress seeping out of me as I breathed in the fresh air (and was eaten alive by sand flies I discovered later...but no matter).
I am a quiet contemplation sort of gal; I need the stillness to recharge and be restored. I brought along a book for the mini trip called "Hinds' Feet on High Places" by Hannah Hurnard (that is a whole lot of H's!) It is a story of transformation in the format of an allegory. It follows the journey of a lame and disfigured girl named Much-Afraid as she makes the trek from her home in the Valley of Humiliation to the High Places with the guidance of the Shepherd and her two companions, Sorrow and Suffering. I read it as a young girl, but I had not lived enough to really grasp the depth of the story.
Anyway, as I was reading, I came upon this little passage that I liked, so I'll share it with you:
...in a lonely corner behind a wall she came upon a little golden-yellow flower, growing all alone. An old pipe was connected with a water tank. In the pipe was one tiny hole through which came an occasional drop of water. Where the drops fell one by one, there grew the little golden flower, though where the seed came from, Much-Afraid could not imagine, for there were no birds anywhere and no other living things.
She stopped over the lonely, lovely little golden face, lifted up so hopefully and so bravely to the feeble drip, and cried out softly, "What is your name, little flower, for I never saw one like you before."
The tiny plant answered at once in a tone as golden as itself, "Behold me! My name is Acceptance-With-Joy."This passage and all of the others I have read so far made me think about the journey I have been on this year. Though I don't believe that the pain in my life was caused by anything or anyone, and though I would trade everything I have learned to rewrite history and have my daughter back, I do believe that I have been given a chance to learn and grow and become as a result of this tragedy. I realized early on that I have very little control over the circumstances of my life, but I do own my reactions to those circumstances. In the end, it is all I own; I am "wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked." Acceptance with joy...that is something I am working on.
I am just thankful for the solitude and peace I found this weekend. After a long, hard month, it made me feel able to tackle the upcoming week and all of its challenges.