Friday, April 10, 2015

My New Blog...

Though still fresh and under construction, I've moved my blog HERE at Wordpress. Can't get much easier to find me there if you'd like. Or if you might have someone in mind who maybe needs to read such words (and may like to share too), I'd love to interact with them. ... Yep. This is my new address. 

Will you join me? 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Palm Fronds through Window Panes

I didn't make the connection...

until this week. I'm surprised, to be honest, because if you know me, I'm all about the symbolic. I love metaphorical words, hidden meanings, and allegory. I inhale veiled nuance deep. Penned or printed words on a page are a feast for the eyes, but the story beneath the words is the undercurrent of flavor and aroma, layers of texture, beckons me into cascades of emotion.

C. S. Lewis wrote to J.R.R. Tolkien on December 7, 1929:

“The two things that came out clearly were the sense of reality in the background and the mythical value: the essence of myth being that it should have no taint of allegory to the maker and yet should suggest incipient allegories to the reader."

But first the story of palm fronds...

And hidden places.

My mom's bedroom was caddy corner from the room I shared with my little brother. A narrow wall separated the two, but it might as well have been a chasm deep with only faint echoes of the other side. 

He took me there when the house was empty...

"Sharen, I'll be gone with your Grammy today, but your grandpa wants to take you to the country club. I'm sure he'll buy you a soda..." A rare treat. 

I wanted to flee, with no where to go. 

"Can't I go with you and Grammy?" I pleaded. "l'll be good. I promise."

She assured me I'd be much happier at the country club with my grandpa. My unrelenting pleas to go with her finally led to a stern rebuke. 

"You're going with your grandpa." 

“You can sit in the front seat with me, Sweetie. Say goodbye to Mommy...” 

The glint in my grandfather's eye scared me. I didn't yet know what evil was, but felt every bit of this nameless thing as it crept up my spine, unfurling fear, landing with a thud in the pit of my stomach. 

As promised, we went to the country club where I followed my grandpa and his friends around the course. I busied myself by learning the names of different golf clubs and counting the number of strokes it took to reach each hole. My grandpa even let me put the numbers down on the scorecard. And his friends were so nice, happy to have their friend’s granddaughter tag along. One of them brought me a root beer (my favorite) from the clubhouse halfway through their game. I wondered what it would be like if he were my grandpa instead. Would he touch me too? Like that? 

And then it was time to go home…

The club wasn’t far from my grandparents’ house, and when we arrived no one was home.

“Can we go to my school to play on the playground?” I was scared to be at home with him by myself. I didn’t want to sit in that chair with him when no one was home, knowing Mom wouldn’t be calling for me to get ready for bed soon. The sun was bright in the sky and bedtime was hours away.

“Sure. But I need to run inside for a bit. We’ll go in for just a few minutes, okay?” Satisfied it wouldn’t be long, I took his hand and we walked into the house together. We didn’t go to the den, but to my mother’s bedroom.

“I’ll take you to the school to play in just a bit, but first, I want to show you how much I love you. I love you so much. So so much. You’re my favorite. Did you know that?” His voice was gravelly. Hushed. “All grandpas show love to their granddaughters like this. Here, let me show you.  And when he laid me on the floor, my eyes focused on the palm fronds just outside the large picture window. 


yet I focused with all my strength on those palm fronds. The light danced across the green as the breeze moved them in waves across the sky. My hiding place. A shelter for my spirit. I found a sense of solace there, just beyond the the paned glass window. 

Palm Sunday and the story beneath my story...

"On the first day, you shall take the product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook" (Lev. 23:40), and "You shall live in booths send days; all the citizens in Israel shall live in booths, in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt." (Lev. 23:42-43)

Symbolically, these fragile booths, covered with plant material, such as palm leaves, represented temporary shelter meant to protect His people during their time as slaves and as they roamed the wilderness for 40 years before entering the Promised Land. 

The allegory isn't lost to me...

Though the pain and struggle were real. Though I was battered and broken, somehow the jade palm fronds called my spirit to a place of shelter. 

My hiding place.