Sanctuary Places & Secret Spaces

cottage 7

There’s something special about old houses, whether it’s the nooks and crannies hidden beneath the stairs, the familiar sound of one’s tread on the floor, or a gigantic, flowering lilac bush, encroaching upon a porch with a swing where you sit in the summer time, drinking iced tea from a tumbler.

But the first old house I lived in was in West Point, NY, when I was a little girl, and my fondest memories of it are in winter.

Often I’d be curled up with a favorite book (I re-read the Chronicles of Narnia so many times, the books to my set cracked apart into separate chunks) and looking out the giant expanse of windows in the “sun” room, praying for snow.

Yes, I loved snow, and I prayed for it, because we lived in a valley often neglected for the peaks of the mountains in which it sat, peaks frequently graced and made resplendent in white.

But sometimes God complied with a little girl’s wish, and granted not just the black mountain bear or fox but me as well, some snow in which to play.

icicles off windowbox

I haven’t thought of that old house as much, or been reminded of it as much as I have been since I’ve moved into my own little cottage, which is over a hundred years old.

Yes, it will be the oddest thing, not just the colonial structure of the current home, which reminds me of the one in my childhood, but the heaviness of a door, or the unusual twist in a cellar passage way. And it won’t be so much the public history, but the remembered, intuited, or imagined stories, that will kind of belong to a place, which has become a sacred sanctuary – set apart from the rest of the world.

So the other day at the cottage, after a snow storm in the present, I was walking my dogs, and the way the snow had accumulated upon the large evergreen bushes running alongside the house, had created a fluffy, white stretch of roof top (with meandering open spaces and tunnels beneath) which the dogs wanted to explore. This gave me a familiar, excited feeling, as if I was a child again.

snow tunnel 3

It’s always the simplest things – the beauty of nature, the noticed patterns and symbolism that take me back home, or make me realize, with a spirit of gratitude, that I am home.

Suddenly I recalled playing with a childhood friend that I may not have remembered much, or even ever again, if not for this sudden rush of nostalgia, and the reminder of snow tunnels beneath shrubbery, having explored similar ones with this playmate, outside that old house I used to call home at West Point, NY.

Those were days of great joy, and I don’t recall wondering once, if my all-providing father fretted over the inevitable problems that must have been associated with older homes, of which this military housing consisted.

Back then, I didn’t see the elongated windows of the sunroom through which I manifested snow as “drafty”, and outside I didn’t see overgrown shrubbery, needing to be cut down come spring,  to regimented standard.

I just saw marvelous long, drippy icicles, bedecking windows and rooflines like garland, and mysterious igloo-type tunnels in which I could hide, beneath gnarled, ancient shrubbery so old – it created a sense of mystery. I saw outside-rooms created out of nature in which we could play house, or secret passage way, or create a story of our own making to which mother nature had already provided the fodder.

Who notices the most important things, adults or children, I wonder?

white feather in house
And when we find ourselves noticing odd or shall I say – pausing for beautifully mysterious things – in adulthood, or noticing how the present can be like a teaching echo of the past, is it then that we have really come of age, and read the patterns of our life correctly?

For I do not think it just coincidence that in a time when I am more healed or at peace, having given my own need for home and sanctuary precedence, that I recall a time in my childhood in which I had a father who took care of draft and danger, leaving me free to explore and create, while never leaving the perimeters of a safe haven.

For is God not a God who does just the same, as my father did then?

And is this world not just like a very old house?

Designed to make us recall, our even more permanent, and infinitely magical, home in heaven?

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Indestructible

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, after fire

I know the woman who rests her bare feet on the moon and the stars, while holding their creator, like every child that comes into time.

She clears a path through fiery conflagration, she opens locked doors, and shelters the small.

In the desert they will find refuge, while the guilty get lost in a maze, a trail of their own destruction.

She is the woman of the apocalypse, the heart of mankind, and the very nature of God.

Searching for Oz

 

a_002

 A book review.

Sometimes in an author we recognize a voice, startlingly familiar, as if angels have guided their pen to page… tap, tap. I find myself engrossed in Adele’s book, feeling honored that  she would “share” her inner thoughts with me.  I want to take her words in slowly and ponder them all, for I was meant to read this. Adele’s style of writing is one in which the flow of words, although seemingly random, form beautiful, rhythmic patterns, like the movement of water in a stream.

This smacks familiar to me.

It is a voice through channels unexpected, that reminds me of home.

And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. Luke 2:35

My Sweet Lord told me

I cannot be without you

HE is in me

I was drinking black and white water

they gave me, so as not to get caught

I cried

They held a gun to my head

My father would rather be better off dead

than kill me by destruction

The mass is in tatters

Its remnants remain

like shattered victims

on the floor

Open the door

and let them out of My house

where (and when) they are being

imprisoned

I will see and feed them

in the hills

(Oh, my Sweet Jesus, how I love you!)

make amends with the sinners

after they have fallen from My Grace,

and give them drink

from Celestial waters

It’s important you understand the plan

(not yours, not mine)

As it was in the beginning

Is now

And ever shall be

The plan of My Father

In Heaven

For random valleys

hurt the meadows

that they grow in

and towns and cities

cannot be built on ice

Flowers grow (and blossom)

where they are planted

The shores will eat them up

if left alone

The mountains are high

close to My Heart

Wild and Free

Like the back of my hand

Which would not harm

Its servants

Go

Your hour is here

 

Raymond’s Song

 

 

Help of the helpless

My dear family

This is my deathbed


Fear not, abide with me



The dark shadows lesson

God’s means and ways made clear

Oh my sweet family

Awake, abide with me


For my dear Lord Jesus

Bearing gifts

He calls to me

Like Christmas morning

Rejoice, abide with me


This is no false vision

In Heaven I’ll awake

For no actions I have taken

For false or pity sake


Hear my Last Word 
and Testament

Heaven’s story I will tell

Trust is not forbidden there

False charity is hell


God does not abandon us

Or withdraw His Father’s Love

When we cannot do His will

As injured sparrow, lamb or dove


Renovate God’s mansions

Like flowers in the Son

Tether not the captives

The misfits that you shun


Long I loved you in life

No false attempt to charm

Ne’er false words spoken

To no gentle brother harm


Help of the helpless

Lean close  dear family

Abide with me forever

Lean close and hear and see


I have loved this life too dearly

Vultures pass not where I lie

I have loved this death too gladly

To speak error while I die


The motive of  intention

Will remain forever clear

Do not reward with slavery

Intervention do not fear


For at birth we are delivered

Through His Image all made same

But through death we are delivered

Wild and free God calls by Name


You are not the help of helpless

Nor the spouse to marry me

You are not celestial virgin

Infant born beneath my tree


Let us build the City of God

Make haste abide with me

Mother’s house is in the after

Abusers’ kingdoms will not be

 

Sunday Edition Criminal Chase

Remember down at Shady Acres

Where the grass was over grown

Ring Ring Ring went the sound

Of a rotary dial

It’s your Daddy on the phone

I asked you to take care of them

My children and my wife

You ate instead the bread I gave them

Took my very life

Little Nate he understands

He’s doing very well

Though he bears the marks your sins have given

In the blood in which he fell

The incorrectly ordered man

Is deadly to himself

And my daughter writes in place of me

That book upon a shelf