Sitting outside on my balcony, I let the wind whisper to me tonight. I was trying to read but I kept getting distracted by the rustling leaves on the trees as the wind told them secrets and helped them dance. What a song they create together! I missed at the beginning how the river joined them and all creation seemed to be lifted by the song. The wind shook the leaves and then rippled across the river, scattering the stillness of the surface. I had never noticed this quite in this way before tonight and was distracted by the sheer beauty of a rather ordinary moment as the sun set.
I continue to read Ann VosKamp’s book, The Broken Way. The line that jumped out at me tonight was Lament is an outrage…that still trusts in God’s good outcome. Ann has found out at this point in her book that yet another friend’s cancer has spread. This past week the closed group on Facebook that I belong to has had a number of its members find out the same or that the cancer has returned. Reading the posts is painful. The page is a safe place for us to share our fears, anger, rage, and what I would call lament by Ann’s definition. We buoy each other up in that group and many of us trust in God’s good outcome despite the various faith backgrounds on it.
I am also trying to come to terms with the fact that my symptoms are progressing and that I sleep way too much for my liking. Cancer fatigue is a hungry beast. Nothing really helps. I could sleep for days and I would still wake up tired. My energy keeps diminishing and I grieve the loss of it. My shortened days are frustrating to me as my to-do list is long and some items such as purging or visiting can only be done by me. This lesson to stay still and listen to the whispers of the wind is equally as important though. The to-do list simply must wait sometimes while I tune into the Holy. The wind has always had a special place in my soul. I remember it vividly when I went to Greece, have fond memories of it in Hawaii coming off the ocean, hear its gentle call still from a retreat centre in Ohio, feel its wildness on the Ferry to Robben Island in South Africa….the Spirit has always found me and wrapped Her arms around me with love and grace. The wind helps me to trust in the outcome.
As I sat there raptured by the sound and sight of the wind’s effect, I felt a nudge to open Facebook and saw this image, created by my friend’s daughter:
You can buy her art via her Facebook page, Sagebrush and Sparrow Illustration. This was perhaps the whispering of the Spirit for me when I opened my Facebook page and saw this as the first story. I do not always feel brave on this journey but I know for a fact that someone, somewhere, needs to hear my story. That is why I tell it. I know for many who know and love me, it is surreal to think that I might not be here in a year. The possibility is highly likely though. In my spirit, for the first time, I get the sense that the end is coming sooner than I want it to. I am beginning to feel an urgency and that saddens me because there is a part of me that also just wants to sit outside, marvel in the dance of Creation, and not have to think about what it means for all of you to let me go. I am running out of steam and while I hope for a second wind, I am attentive to this Wind blowing, and know that one day, it will call my name to join in the Heavenly dance.
I know it is unfair that this earthly dance will end prematurely (in some people’s eyes) and yet I hope that you will trust in God’s good outcome and lament when you must. I encourage you to do both. This story I am telling is not only about my bravery but yours. So many of you face this head on and show me how to stay focused. I have seen some of the tears that many of you have tried to hide. I feel the love as you slip your arms around me and hold me tightly. I am grateful for the small acts of kindness in the form of food and fellowship. Your faith and encouragement are a blessing. I think listening tonight to the wind, I heard all of the prayers being lifted for me and watched them skip across the water towards me. What a gift that was! Your desire to create lasting memories is precious to me. I have had such a fun summer with so many of you who have come through to visit or those who have joined me locally for events. You have made what might well be my last summer amazing. You have no idea what this means to me.
I am going to keep telling my story for as long as I can here. Thank you to all who are accompanying me in these posts. Your fidelity strengthens me. Think of me in the whispers of the wind as summer throws itself into these last weeks of sun and fun. I will do the same. Let’s join in the dance of Creation and be glad for every breathe we take.
What memories do you have of the wind whispering to you?
What is the story you must tell for others to know that they too can be brave?
Wind-Whisperer, you tell us our story and invite us to join joyfully in the dance of Creation. May we never miss the soft sound of Your voice calling us. Help us to be brave and vulnerable at the same time so that our tale guides others down the path of Holiness. Amen.