Rain, Mercy and Moms

September 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

I spoke to my mom tonight because it was her birthday on Tuesday and it has taken me three days to actually wish her a happy birthday.  I call her at nine and we talk about what’s been going on in my life: running, working, just normal life stuff.  She told me that Dad was picking up a chicken coop he bought at an auction with no intentions of actually using it as a chicken coop. Soon after he scored his purchase, he realized he doesn’t really need a chicken coop, but found someone who does, so they went to pick it up.  “They left at 4:30,”  Mom said.  (It is almost 9:30 by now.)  “Where was it?” I asked.  “I don’t know.  I guess I didn’t ask,” she said.  I suddenly find myself in my mom’s shoes, in a wife’s shoes and want to know: where was he going, what time did he say he’d be back, etc. etc.  But I love that my mom has none of this worry, none of the petty anxiety.  Maybe this comes with being married for almost 35 years, but it made me really happy that my parents give each other space to be and yet they are an incredible partnership.  And all is well.  Dad was pulling up the driveway when we hung up.

Last night on my run, we (me and my trusty running group) got caught in the rain.  When the first rain drop hit my face, I held out my hands and squealed: “RAIN!”  And it rained hard, and I ran hard and I could not stop smiling.  I wanted to sit down at the same time and write a poem (because it is hard for me to write poems while I’m running).  It was both refreshing and exhilarating.  During the hour and a half getting soaked to the bone, I felt newness and life.  Okay, okay, this is getting a little….emotional, I realize, so I’ll stop.  But I love the rain.

Tonight I met with my wacky Lutheran church people for a Bible study.  I’m not sure how this sounds to you, my dear readers, but I do want to read this book as a historical document, as literature, and I honestly love the metaphors and paradox.  I will share a snippet of what we read tonight in Deuteronomy 6.  “We were slaves…but the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”  From slavery to freedom.  Grace.  Redemption.  I really don’t consider myself very evangelical, but this idea or this truth is absolutely lovely and exciting to me.

Which, I guess brings us full circle back to my novel.  The working title, Fire by Fire, is from a line in T. S. Eliot’s poetry: “To be redeemed from fire by fire.”  I don’t know what Eliot means by his poetry exactly, and right now I don’t know what the Hebrew Bible means exactly, and I really don’t know what my book is about exactly.  But I know this much.  I know redemption is a major (if not THE) theme of the Old and New Testament, and I want my book to be about redemption as well.

All that to say, I feel rejuvenated.  I’m excited about this fall to read and to write and to run (but mostly read and write).  I promise someday soon to talk about the next chapters I’m working on…

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