When the dogwood bloomed blood-dipped white, life bloomed fresh in the house on the hill. Elliana was a wee tiny thing then, barely weeks old, curled often on chest. Babies have this way forming themselves around your body in both comma and question mark; comma- a separation- and question mark of future tense- what this is and what will be seems almost other-worldly in those misted days. You wake and sleep and wake again, drink deep the joy and sometimes-shake-with the responsibility of this new soul, wrapped around yours- and the bloom drifted down, summer snow-fall- and wee girl made her way known in the world, song of old, and the mist fell away.
Our life is but a whispered mist, fog on the morning, breathe out- YHWY breath. I reel at the days that have slipped by, and now she is this long stretched girl, light as air, giggling and crawling, dweller of the carpet and floor. I know I shall blink and she will take unsteady steps, and the crib and cradle, bereft of purpose, will make their way to the attic…but if there is anything six wee ones following like stairsteps have taught me- it is to let the season in. The dogwood has kept me company, silent mother, hen watching over my chicks playing beneath her on slide and in sandbox. She has turned her dresses and let down the hems as the wee girl grows long, and time is marked by her leaves in all their splendor. The winds rustle and I hear the whisper: the beauty comes to those who seek Him first, and if she wild-grace grows, how much more will be given to those who trust? Will I trust? Put on her beauty?
It’s been an insatiable thing, to capture the different light and hue playing across her leaves. Few things I’ve had time for, but somehow I slip out and grab a few shots tracing across the months; finally move from automatic to manual in desperation of wanting to catch her, just-so. Kelly tells of contre-jour, and I turn the camera, and there she is- this friend of the Spirit, ministering to me in her faithful and silent witness. Now the blood-red seed waits its death, and a question before me calls of the sacrifice. Lay it down. Lay it all down. Life will come on an Easter morn, paradox bloom, from death. Will I really live the life of the Dogwood, knarled branch and trunk? Or will I live like grass burned off with the morning mist? Do I go deep into beauty? The older I get, the more beauty calls at me, the more the mist falls, and I fear less and less the free fall of grace, into a mosaic pieced back from the fracture, His blood red, the grout holding us mirrors to the Light.We are not long for this world and my heart longs for Home. Elliana’s spun gold laughter whispers across the way, and I know my answer. The dogwood keeps the remembrance.