Hope In A Very Hard Place.

One of my biggest joys is writing. It is the means of releasing my heart on to a page, and letting insights form.  I can’t draw or paint, I love to sing but need a choir around me to keep me true to the tune. When I dance in the kitchen, my grandchildren look embarrassed for me. Writing is my own creative form.

Recently I have been finding it hard to find the space/time to write. There needs to be air around me for the creative process to spark; it can’t be forced. Things work in me, and they only emerge in their own time. Waiting is not easy, trusting that ‘it’ will happen again is even harder.

This time it seemed difficult to find the ‘common bush afire with God’. There were bits and pieces – glimpses if you will – that slipped in and out of consciousness, so in the end, I sat  and waited awhile to find where to take off my shoes.

I saw beauty in the deep red of the fallen leathery leaves mixed with soft green grass next to the pavement. There it was again in the very very clean sliding glass window in the lounge room. It was laughing in the delighted cackle of my littlest grandson, and in the brown eggs he carried in from Grandpa’s girls. It splashed and roared as the sea hit the rocks at Robe, and we older lovers sat and watched from the warmth of the car.

No image stayed with me as much, though, as this one:

Part of my life is spent working as a chaplain in a closed facility. This last week, three men were gathered together chatting, admiring one’s prolific veggie garden, talking about the Budget and what it means for the poorest, and sharing the general ‘chiacking’ common as a form of intimacy in Aussie men.

A fourth man came excitedly into the group,  happily announcing that he was being moved into an area that gave him a lot more independence – a move that reflected his health and development. It was a step that had been years coming, and one that they all longed to make. They responded with generosity and delight, and gave him all the affirmation he could have desired. As things calmed down I looked at one particular man, whose face showed that he was realizing he was about to lose the company of his old friend.

I quietly moved to his side and commented that this must be a bit hard for him. He agreed that it was, paused a moment and then straightened his shoulders and lifted his head. He said strongly  ‘Yes, I will miss him, but it is about what is good for him and his life. This is the best thing for him, that he has waited for, so I am happy for him in his life.’

This is where the common bush was afire for me this time. It was in the simple unselfish love of people who might be scorned in our streets, and had no other gift to give than their own hearts. Those hearts are endless because they are open, and they expand again with their graceful giving and loving. I was standing in a place of loving-kindness.

I took my shoes off in this place .

Blog Photo Shoes (2)

          Photo by Jack Popescu-Small

About Pauline Small

After a long and varied career in teaching, I am now able to pursue my other love - writing as a form of exploring the depths of life's experiences. I live in South Australia, in an ordinary house in an ordinary suburban street, which is where the extraordinary happens every day.
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