A new life……

We put the cross up in the garden yesterday


A cross of pine boards, cut and nailed together by my son and his grandfatherthree years ago for my son’s wedding day.


My son and his bride would stand beneath this cross as they made their vows of commitment to stand by each other

in sickness and in health, for richer and poorer. A commitment tested now, in these times, in this uncertainty. This marriage of three years as well as our own of over three decades are tested in times that challenge our commitment, our steadfastness, our standing with each other.

The cross was the first step of commitment God took with us on that first Easter morning.

The commitment a groom takes to care for his bride on their wedding day reflects the promise God makes with us to stand by us though the difficulties and joys of life.

His death on the cross removed the power of darkness.

This cross was promise covenant, like a marriage covenant,

that God is with us

to give us strength to stand through uncertainty, fear, despair.


A few hours after we stood up the cross in the yard I fell apart.


We saw our son for the first time since this virus changed our world in a matter of

weeks. The tears welled up, my heart tore up at the sight of my son once more in this

house where our four children have grown.


I’ve grown used to the silence now. In fact I enjoy it. Each morning new sounds once

overlooked greet the day….the hoot of an owl, the chirps of a chickadee, the call of a

cardinal. The cry of the sand crane. The sound of the wind.


I was content in this new silence until the sight of my son,

When memories of “how it used to be” blew me over

when the house was full

when walls echoed laughter

when income was secure to provide for our family

when shelves were stocked full on grocery aisles.


We stood the cross up in the garden only hours earlier

a few hours later I need to lay these overwhelming fears and insecurities at its base next

to the palm fronds I had set down that morning.


Saturday morning

the day of the tomb

the day to let things rot and disintegrate

the day to feel, carry burden and discouragement

then bury them in the darkness behind a stone.


For on Sunday morning, light comes.


Just before sunrise I rise.

I cut a peace lily bloom from my yard.

I take one small nail and hammer the bloom into the center of the cross.

The wind stirs around me as if God’s spirit, rhema,

blows hope into the air .

I paddle atop the pond behind my house

As the sun rises over the clouds

casting an orange path on the dark muddy water.

On this new day

the hope of new life shimmers on dark waters.


In the same setting of uncertainty, hidden dangers (alligators?)

there are also lily pads and egrets

and a nest for a family of sand cranes.


The family of four cranes meet me on the shore

A mother, a fathers, and  two fledglings



I have watched their young ones grow during this past month of confinement.

observed their young furry bodies take tentative steps beside their parents.

Their long legs now gracefully stride beside theirs

as they furrow beneath the grass for food.

This patch of grass, once a field for football games and wiffleball tournaments for my

family are now a feeding ground for this family of four.


Side by side the mother and child step.

The mother rustles beneath earth’s surface

gathering seeds into her mouth.

In one practiced movement

transfers nourishment, food,

into her child’s beak.


I hope I have done the same for my children

gifting words of life from my mouth to theirs as they have walked

in the shadow of our steps.


All step into new life this Easter day

Life uncertain, murky like these waters beneath me.

I fix my eyes on the sun rising from the east

that casts a path of light on the darkness

I rise from kneeling on this board on unstable waters

to stand.



“All creatures look to you to give them food at the proper time.

When you give it to them, they gather it up;

when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things…

When. you send your spirit, they are created,

and you renew the face of the ground.”  Psalm 104:27, 30

























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