advent apertures 2019: Christmas Eve

I have learned

that fences are for climbing to see

if the grass really is greener on the other side;

and that if I leave the house at night,

and stretch high on the top of my tiptoes

I might touch the quivering stars,

play with the bright young moon.


I have learned that a mind is like the universe,

an immensity of twinkling lights and

far-flung galaxies to be explored.


I have learned that the world beyond

the fence is full of human beings as diverse as the stars,

each waiting to be recognized and named

and loved by me.  I have learned

that life is for loving and love is for living

and dying is for letting go.


I have learned that opposites

are inextricably linked,

that within all pain are tiny buds of beauty

and within all beauty seeds of pain;

that the sun disappears only to return

the following morning,

and that clouds are not solid;

that tears are for falling

and laughter is for taking wing;

that forgiveness is the better part of valor,

sweeter far than blame.


I have learned how

the sound of a full orchestra

can break me wide open;

that a piano’s single notes

played against adagio strings

are like raindrops of silver

falling on crushed velvet;

and that a violin concerto

can stretch me thin

and leave me full.


I have learned that

everything has its own language and that

if I listen carefully to the birds and the creatures,

and even the grasses,

I will hear the sound of God

in the music of the silence.

There are multiple realities surrounding me

and I know that I must keep the eyes of my heart open

to allow all of existence to be.


And I’m glad I was not told

any of these things

else I would not have grown as tall

nor stretched as far.

I am glad these things were kept hidden from me

until I could open the gate to taste and touch,

to smell and feel, and

to discover my self along the way.


‘Learning Life’

Catherine Garland


‘How can this be?’

“Yes. This can be in me.”

I say Yes to the ongoing revealing of God in my life.

I say Yes to the Invitation, to get up close and personal with the Living Light.

I say Yes to the consequences of Your revealing, especially those that lie hidden from my view in this moment.

A line from a Mumford & Sons song comes to me: ‘I will love the skies I’m under’.  So, however midnight blueblack, dawn rose madder, or sunset gold leaf my skies get, I will accept You are with me;

I will trust You are with-in and with-out me;

I will remember that we are connected in the intimacy of a feedback loop, we are one eternal Mobius strip;

I will commit to becoming a part of the means by which Your Will is done, in my here and now;

I will praise in wonder that not just my sight will be changed.


For that one moment, ‘in and out of time’,

On that one mountain where all moments meet,

The daily veil that covers the sublime

In darkling glass fell dazzled at his feet.

There were no angels full of eyes and wings

Just living glory full of truth and grace.

The Love that dances at the heart of things

Shone out upon us from a human face

And to that light the light in us leaped up,

We felt it quicken somewhere deep within,

A sudden blaze of long-extinguished hope

Trembled and tingled through the tender skin.

Nor can this this blackened sky, this darkened scar

Eclipse that glimpse of how things really are.



Malcolm Guite

loving the skies I'm under (bl)loving the skies I’m under. iPhone image.

Published by Kate Kennington Steer

writer, photographer and visual artist

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