Advent and Lullabies

evensong
wraps today’s anguish
in lullabies

Living with unexpected physical challenges feels like a roller-coaster ride. Up one day, down the next. My short list of essentials for each day is simple: write, read, listen to or play music, exercise, rest, and prepare food as required for my diet. Sometimes my energy level is up, and I’m able to do everything and then some. Other days, I pare it down.

I’m not in love with this situation. Nonetheless, over the last two years I’ve accepted my wellbeing as my number one priority–not the way the house looks, or showing up for gatherings I used to attend regularly.

As the first-born of four daughters, I learned to neglect my own wants and needs in favor of caring for others. Today I often think of myself as the little girl I once was. I focus on listening to her and comforting her–acknowledging in the present that she still lives in me and still needs affection and affirmation.

All I have is one moment at a time–the precious gift of the Spirit of my Creator. Writing has been my best tutor when it comes to connecting with myself in the present. It’s demanding, but immensely rewarding when a haiku or poem begins to take shape on paper because it’s taking shape in me–echoing what’s going on inside me. The haiku above is a case in point.

Even Jesus wasn’t born into this world immune to tough choices or anguish. I can imagine his earliest comfort included lullabies. They also work for me. Especially when I sing them to myself as a way of bringing my past into the present.

The Christmas Lullaby tune above is “Restoration” from William Walker’s shape-note song book, Southern Harmony. It’s an old American tune, sung here by Doc Watson.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 18 December 2017
YouTube video found here