5 December 2021

Overtaken By Joy

Categories: Life

Earth’s crammed with heaven
And every common bush afire
with God
And only he who sees takes
off his shoes
The rest sit around it and
pluck blackberries
– E. Barrett Browning –


Isn’t it lovely when this happens! Even more so when one has had a tough month! But maybe that is when it happens, or more likely, when we actually notice it is happening. I have had a time of worry and you know even as I say that, I am ashamed. I have such a good life, I have what I need and even my cause for worry is a luxury! My dear husband had to have a hip replacement and so of course one has the actual surgery to worry about. Then the day after that, then the recovery process, how are the meds tolerated oh and on and on. And then the recovery at home and the wonderful joy to see not just recovery but the wonderful results of the surgery. And without noticing, that heaviness, that cloud is suddenly simply gone.

Track in cape point

Dirt track at Cape Point

My grandson phoned me and said: Gramma, I bought you rusks, real buttermilk rusks! This is something I love to eat and what joy that he remembers that, that he goes to find some to buy and send to me.

rusks in a wooden dish

Gramma's rusks

Oh, and I have been working in my garden! Quite literally breaking new ground, making a new plan. Sticking a fork in the soil and turning it over, digging holes, moving logs, getting so so dirty!! And when I can hardly stand, when I wonder where I will find the energy to go up my steps into my house, I am so happy I feel incandescent!

My angel in the garden

My angel in the garden

I have read Elizabeth Strout novels in the past. Have always been aware of how brilliant the writing is, but in the case of the Olive Kitteridge novels I distanced myself from the main character. So harsh, so extreme, so scary. Early in Olive Kitteridge her husband says: “She had a darkness standing beside her like an acquaintance that wouldn’t go away”. And now I am reading Olive, again. I was sitting in my car waiting, my husband is not allowed to drive yet. I watch Olive stare at a character in a shop. She notices the terrible state the woman is in. Goes to her, announces this bluntly and deals with it. And I am absolutely overcome by joy and affection for Olive, for myself, for us. Olive has that darkness, but she knows she does, and because she has it she can SEE it . My faults, my bad, it is so useful. If I can see mine, I can be tender with yours.

” …..how at the end of each day the world seemed to crack
open and the extra light made its way across the stark trees
and promised . It promised, that light, and what a thing that was.”
– Elizabeth Strout –

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