{flowing} joy

I am not used to throwing my voice to the back of a room and find it difficult and extremely tiring. I am not used to singing loudly because using a microphone means I can sing normally and the microphone does the work. I had forgotten how sweet a single recorder can sound. Yesterday made me hunt out my own and play for a while, there is a plaintive cry to the recorder that lends itself to ballad music and for example Iona Community singing. When I sing or speak it is never for me and I was so blessed yesterday to be strengthened to belt my voice against the back wall. I got stuff wrong, I always do and always will but was touched by comments after the service. I will never be considered outgoing like Carlow born Manie Payne, co founder of the Peniel Mission in Los Angeles. I hope eventually to write hymns as beautifully as she did. 

Manie Ferguson was more outgoing than Theodore and was the guiding force for the expansion of the ministry. After his death in 1920, “Mother Ferguson” continued to direct the work until her death in 1932. Under Manie’s direction, the Peniel Missions sought to provide a ministry for single women. This appears to have been a primary motivation in the growth of the movement. The women usually lived in rented rooms near the rented hall where they conducted evangelistic services. They boldly testified on street corners and in bars and houses of prostitution. All workers were unsalaried, but the local mission paid for most of their expenses. Even the Fergusons were not paid by the mission, but lived on the rental income from three small houses they owned.

Blessedquie

Joys are flowing like a river,
Since the Comforter has come;
He abides with us forever,
Makes the trusting heart His home.

Blessèd quietness, holy quietness,

What assurance in my soul!

On the stormy sea, He speaks peace to me,

How the billows cease to roll!

Bringing life and health and gladness,
All around this heav’nly Guest,
Banished unbelief and sadness,
Changed our weariness to rest.

Like the rain that falls from Heaven,

Like the sunlight from the sky,

So the Holy Ghost is given,
Coming on us from on high.

See, a fruitful field is growing,

Blessèd fruit of righteousness;
And the streams of life are flowing
In the lonely wilderness.

What a wonderful salvation,

Where we always see His face!
What a perfect habitation,
What a quiet resting place!

brighter{steps}

Ira Stanphill wrote songs because he loved God and Christ loves him, He reckoned they appealed to people because he had a life with ups, downs and inbetweens that people could relate to. He wrote “I know who holds tomorrow” during the disolution of his marriage

Lake

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
By Ira F. Stanphill

 

I don’t know about tomorrow;
I just live from day to day.
I don’t borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to grey.

 

I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I’ll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.

 

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

 

Every step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden’s getting lighter,
Every cloud is silver-lined.

 

There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye;
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky.

 

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

 

I don’t know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.

 

And the path that is my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I’m covered with His blood.

 

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand…

letters before you, letter after you

we don’t write letters anymore, a quick text or email or phone call is our usual way of communicating but there is something beautiful about receiving a letter. A few years ago in church we wrote letters to people on mission and they replied. It was great getting the replies, seeing how each was doing in their particular mission field.

i was honoured to listen to Larraine talk about persecuted Christians on Saturday, she is a gifted speaker and passionate about the cause of persecuted Christians all over the world. The words we heard were ones of the Hope in desperate situations.

we are not imprisoned, tortured or killed for our beliefs in this country. I heard of a 12 year old boy of faith who was detained in China sent back to North Korea and who died in a forced labour camp, all the time standing strong in the sand of life. A deeply rooted faith that was nourished daily.

back when letter writing was one of the only forms of communication there were rules, social rules on how to write a letter depending on who it was to. How to address them, how to address the envelope, which letters to include at the beginning and end and how to end a letter. Below is an example of letter writing etiquette.

I urge you to today write a letter, preferably to a nameless individual in North Korea or Syria or Eritrea or some other country where it is illegal or extremely difficult to be Christian, but maybe for you, you need to write a letter to someone in your closer family, a relative that you haven’t spoken to in a while for whatever reason, a neighbour in desperate strife, a child, a parent.

Miffy

MISS LESLIE’S

LADY’S NEW RECEIPT-BOOK;

A Useful Guide for Large or Small Families

LETTERS.—For letter-writing, always use good paper; it should be fine, smooth, white, and sufficiently thick not to let the writing show through on the other side. Very good letter-paper can seldom be purchased at less than twenty-five cents per quire. That which is lower in price is inferior in quality. If you cannot trust yourself to write straightly without some guide, have printed ruled lines to slip beneath the page; for a letter does not look well if written on paper that is already ruled with pale blue ink. If you write a small hand, your lines should be closer together than if your writing is large. It is well to have several sorts of ruled lines; they are to be bought at any stationer’s for a few cents a page.

If you are writing to a relative, or to an intimate friend, and have much to say, and expect to fill the sheet, begin near the top of the first page. But if your letter is to be a short one, commence lower down, several inches from the top. If a very short letter, of only a few lines, begin but a little above the middle of the page.

Write the date near the right-hand side, and place it about a line higher than the two or three words of greeting or accosting with which letters usually commence. Begin the first sentence a little below these words, and farther towards the right than the lines that are to follow it. It is well, in dating every letter, to give always your exact residence,—not only the town, but the street also, and the number of your house. If your correspondent has had but one notification of your present place of abode, the number, and even the street may have been forgotten; the letter containing it may not be at hand as a reference; and the reply may, in consequence, be misdirected; or directed in so vague a manner that it may never reach you. We have known much trouble, inconvenience, and indeed loss, ensue from not specifying, in the date of each letter, the exact dwelling-place of the writer. But if it is always designated at the top of every one, a reference to any of your letters will furnish the proper address. It is customary to date letters at the top, and notes at the bottom. If your letter is so long as to fill more than one sheet, number the pages.

As important words are frequently lost by being torn off with the seal in opening a letter, leave always, in the third or last page, two blank spaces where the seal is to come. These spaces should be left rather too large than too small. You can write in short lines between them. If you cannot otherwise ascertain where the sealing is likely to be, fold your sheet into the form of a letter before you begin to write it; and then, with the point of a pin, (or something similar,) trace, as faintly as possible, two circles, one on the turn-over, the other on the corresponding part of the paper that comes beneath it. These faint circles, when you are writing the last page, will show you where the seal is to go, and what space you are to leave for it. In opening a letter, it is best to[352] cut round the seal; rather than to break it, and tear the letter open.

In folding a letter let the breadth (from right to left) far exceed the height. A letter the least verging towards squareness looks very awkward. It is well to use a folding-stick (or ivory paper-knife) to press along the edges of the folds, and make them smooth and even. Take care in folding a letter to make all the creases exactly straight and even. If one is looser than another, or if there is the slightest widening out or narrowing in towards the edge of the turn-over, the letter will have a crooked, unsightly appearance. You may direct it before sealing; slipping your ruled paper under the back of the letter, that you may run no risk of writing the direction crooked. Begin the address rather nearer to the bottom than the top of the folded letter. Write the name of the person to whom you send it about the middle, and very clearly and distinctly. Then give the number and street on the next line a little nearer to the right. Then the town in large letters, and extending almost close to the extreme right. Just under the town, add the abbreviation of the name of the state—as, Pa. for Pennsylvania, N. Y. for New York. But if the letter is to go to New York city, put the words New York in full, written large. Much confusion is caused by this state and its metropolis having both the same name. It has been well suggested that the name of the state might be changed to Ontario—a beautiful change.

If the letter is to go to a provincial town, put the name of the county in which that town is situated, immediately over the designation of the state. We believe that throughout the union there are more than fifty towns called Washington. If your letter is for the city of Washington, direct for Washington, D. C.—these initials implying the District of Columbia.

Another reason for the propriety of designating the state is, that many of our towns are called after places in Europe: and it has chanced (though not very often) that letters not explicitly and fully directed, have found their way into the mail-bags of packet vessels, and been carried across the Atlantic. We know an instance of a gentleman who directed an important letter simply to Boston, without any indication of the state of Massachusetts; and the letter went from Philadelphia to the small town of Boston in Lincolnshire, England. In writing from Europe, it is well always to finish the direction with the words United States of North America.

If you send the letter by a private opportunity, it will be sufficient to introduce close to the lower edge of the left-hand corner on the back, simply the name of the gentleman who takes it, written small. It is now considered old fashioned to insert on the back of such a letter, “Politeness of Mr. Smith,” “Favoured by Mr. Jones,” “Honoured by Mr. Brown.” If to cross the sea, write the name of the vessel on the left hand corner of the outside.

If you make a mistake in a word, it will be better to draw your pen through the error, so as to render it entirely illegible, and then interline the correction, rather than attempt scratching out the mistake with a penknife, and afterwards trying to write another word in the identical place; a thing that is rarely, if ever, done well.

At the end of the letter, nearly on a line with your signature, (which should be close to the right side,) it is usual to put, near the extremity of the left side of the page, the name of the person to whom the letter is addressed. Write your signature rather larger than your usual hand; and put a dot or period after your name.

In writing a ceremonious and very respectful note, or in addressing a person with whom you are not very intimate, enclose it in an envelope, and put the direction on the cover only. It is now customary always to enclose in envelopes invitations to parties; visiting cards sent to strangers; cards left previous to a marriage; and farewell cards on leaving the place. On the latter it is usual to put the initials t. t. l. (to take leave,) or p. p. c. (pour prendre congé, which has the same signification.) We have also seen p. d. a. (pour dire adieu, to bid adieu.) For a note, always use a very small seal. There are varieties of beautiful little wafers for notes; also of beautiful note-paper. It is not necessary in addressing an intimate friend to follow, particularly, any of these conventional observances.

For sealing letters no light is so convenient as a wax taper. A lamp or candle may smoke and blacken the wax. To seal well, your wax should be of the finest quality. Good red wax is generally the best, and its colour should be of a brilliant scarlet. Inferior red wax consumes very fast; and always, when melted, looks purplish or brownish. When going to melt sealing-wax, rest your elbow on the table to keep your hand steady. Take the stick of wax between your thumb and finger, and hold it a little above the light, so that it barely touches the point of the flame. Then insert a little of the melted wax under the turn-over part of the letter, just where the seal is to come. This will make it more secure than if the sole dependence was on the outside seal. Or instead of this little touch of wax, you may slip under the turn-over a small wafer, either white or of the same colour as the wax. Take the stick of wax, hold it over the flame just so as to touch the tip; next turn it round till the end of the stick is equally softened on every side. Then apply it to your letter, beginning on the outer edge of the place you intend for the seal; and moving the wax round in a circle, which must gradually diminish till it[355] terminates in the centre. Put the seal exactly into the middle of the soft wax, and press it down hard, but do not screw it round. Then withdraw it suddenly. Do not use motto seals unless writing to a member of your own family, or to an intimate friend. For common use, (and particularly for letters of business, or in addressing strangers,) a plain seal with the initials of your name will be best.

We subjoin the usual abbreviations of the states, &c.:—

Maine, Me. New Hampshire, N. H. Vermont, Vt. Massachusetts, Mass. Rhode Island, R. I. Connecticut, Ct. New York, N. Y. New Jersey, N. J. Pennsylvania, Pa. Delaware, Del. Maryland, Md. Virginia, Va. North Carolina, N. C. South Carolina, S. C. Georgia, Geo. or Ga. Alabama, Ala. Mississippi, Mi. Louisiana, La. Tennessee, Ten. Kentucky, Ky. Ohio, O. Indiana, Ind. Illinois, Ill. Missouri, Mo. District of Columbia, D. C. Michigan, Mich. Arkansas, Ark. Florida, Fl. Wisconsin, Wis. Iowa, Io. Texas, Tex. Oregon, Or.

To these may be added the abbreviations of the British possessions in North America. Upper Canada, U. C. Lower Canada, L. C. Nova Scotia, N. S. New Brunswick, N. B. New Providence, N. P.

The name of the town to which the letter is to go, should always be superscribed in full. If a country town or village, it will be necessary to designate the county in which it is situated, as there are so many provincial towns of the same name. Finish with the designation of the state under the whole, close to the right-hand corner.

In directing to a clergyman, put Rev. (Reverend) before his name. To an officer, immediately after his name, and on the same line with it, put U. S. A. for United States Army; U. S. N. for United States Navy. To a[356] member of Congress, precede his name with Hon. (Honourable.)

In putting up packets to send away, either tie them round and across with red tape (sealing them also) or seal them without tying. Twine or cord may cut through the paper, and is better omitted. Never put up any thing in newspaper. Beside the danger of soiling the articles inside, it looks mean and disrespectful. Keep yourself provided with different sorts of wrapping-paper. A large parcel should have more than one seal, and the seal may be rather larger than for a letter.

double hymns

Remember when we at school and after break was double maths or double art and the rush to class depended on your passion for the subject. I hated art and loved maths so sat in the classroom on my own for a good five minutes before the next person arrived. It was not popular but necessary.

Heinz

This week I have had double hymns, it is great, I am passionate about singing for my Lord and so practicing hymns for two churches just fills me with double joy. Because of circumstance I have been in this week I also didn’t post yesterday, almost didn’t make my deadline for http://thewritepractice.com/ and was running around a lot. A couple of people needed support and so I dropped one thing to do another. I had also faithfully promised to do every school and college run this week and thus far have kept to that. Money appeared from an unlikely source and I was able to buy a few essentials to mix with the dwindling freezer horde.

I am keeping a phrase from Henry Jackson Van Dyke in my head as I stumble from project to project this week

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who re­joice, but for those who love, time is eter­ni­ty.”

Because I have found enough time to do everything and again managed a story with a hint of hope at the end. So it is a time of celebration and the first hymn for today is Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee. It is one of those hymns that you cannot help but come out of it more joyous than you went in, Beethoven was a genius composer and the words are just abfab.He himself said of it:

These vers­es are sim­ple ex­press­ions of com­mon Christ­ian feel­ings and de­sires in this pre­sent time—hymns of to­day that may be sung to­ge­ther by peo­ple who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of sci­ence will de­stroy re­li­gion, or any re­vo­lu­tion on earth over­throw the king­dom of hea­ven. There­fore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.

  1. Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
    God of glory, Lord of love;
    Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
    Op’ning to the sun above.
    Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
    Drive the dark of doubt away;
    Giver of immortal gladness,
    Fill us with the light of day!
  2. All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
    Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
    Stars and angels sing around Thee,
    Center of unbroken praise.
    Field and forest, vale and mountain,
    Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
    Singing bird and flowing fountain
    Call us to rejoice in Thee.
  3. Thou art giving and forgiving,
    Ever blessing, ever blest,
    Wellspring of the joy of living,
    Ocean depth of happy rest!
    Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
    All who live in love are Thine;
    Teach us how to love each other,
    Lift us to the joy divine.
  4. Mortals, join the happy chorus,
    Which the morning stars began;
    Father love is reigning o’er us,
    Brother love binds man to man.
    Ever singing, march we onward,
    Victors in the midst of strife,
    Joyful music leads us Sunward
    In the triumph song of life.
  5. HJ Van Dyke was a scholar and a gentle man, he wrote many books and short stories as well as hymns. He was gifted in prose and poem, one of my favourite poems of his is a small eight line rhyming scanning poem called “The Gentle Traveller” I think because I am not in that place but try desperately hard to be there, this just reminds me that I can find it right beside me.
  6. Philip P. Bliss is the second hymnist today, he wrote many hymns that we sing today but this one is apt for the season we are coming into because HALLELUJAH what a SAVIOUR we have!!! He died at age 38 approx (maths is no longer my favourite subject) trying to free his wife from a railroad accident. They both died at the scene. His last hymn written is My Redeemer, all his hymns have easily sung tunes and are lovley sung without accompaniment. Moody wrote of him that he was to his generation what Charles Wesley was to his for his hymnwriting.
  7. Man of Sorrows! what a name
    For the Son of God, who came
    Ruined sinners to reclaim.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
    In my place condemned He stood;
    Sealed my pardon with His blood.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
    Spotless Lamb of God was He;
    “Full atonement!” can it be?
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    Lifted up was He to die;
    “It is finished!” was His cry;
    Now in Heav’n exalted high.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    When He comes, our glorious King,
    All His ransomed home to bring,
    Then anew His song we’ll sing:
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    And finally I have to finish with a poem, have just found this poem by Emma Lazarus (statue of liberty poet) about the dust value of wealth beauty and power but the evalsting love, truth mercy and grace found in the Lord, I add Jesus.

    GIFTS.

      “O World-God, give me Wealth!” the Egyptian cried.
    His prayer was granted. High as heaven behold
    Palace and Pyramid; the brimming tide
    Of lavish Nile washed all his land with gold.
    Armies of slaves toiled ant-wise at his feet,
    World-circling traffic roared through mart and street,
    His priests were gods, his spice-balmed kings enshrined
    Set death at naught in rock-ribbed charnels deep.
    Seek Pharaoh’s race to-day, and ye shall find
    Rust and the moth, silence and dusty sleep.

      “O World-God, give me Beauty!” cried the Greek.
    His prayer was granted. All the earth became
    Plastic and vocal to his sense; each peak,
    Each grove, each stream, quick with Promethean flame,
    Peopled the world with imaged grace and light.
    The lyre was his, and his the breathing might
    Of the immortal marble, his the play
    Of diamond-pointed thought and golden tongue.
    Go seek the sunshine race. Ye find to-day
    A broken column and a lute unstrung.

      “O World-God, give me Power!” the Roman cried.
    His prayer was granted. The vast world was chained
    A captive to the chariot of his pride,
    The blood of myriad provinces was drained
    To feed that fierce, insatiable red heart—
    Invulnerably bulwarked every part
    With serried legions and with close-meshed Code.
    Within, the burrowing worm had gnawed its home:
    A roofless ruin stands where once abode
    The imperial race of everlasting Rome.

      “O God-head, give me Truth!” the Hebrew cried.
    His prayer was granted. He became the slave
    Of the Idea, a pilgrim far and wide,
    Cursed, hated, spurned, and scourged with none to save.
    The Pharaohs knew him, and when Greece beheld,
    His wisdom wore the hoary crown of Eld.
    Beauty he hath forsworn, and wealth and power.
    Seek him to-day, and find in every land.
    No fire consumes him, neither floods devour;
    Immortal through the lamp within his hand.

    EMMA LAZARUS.

battling{reality}

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

One of the books I am reading suddenly has a war in it. It crept up on the protagonist because there were no more wars in her life, in the world she inhabited there was not a military presence. It got me thinking about war, warzones in the world and what if?….

What if all the weapons melted and stopped being useful? What if peace reigned in the hearts of soldiers everywhere? If a person for whom war is normal, what happens when the war is over?

And on a personal level, when you have battled and fought through everyday of your life and suddenly find peace then what happens? Well we become different kinds of soldiers, different battlers. There are people comfortable with standing on street corners in all weathers giving out pieces of paper with the message of the Good News, there are prayer warriors, there are great orators who can deliver the message of hope in such a way that it is accessible to the non-Christian, there are one-to-one givers who bring the message to one person at a time in a very personal and sharing way. The peace that transcends understanding, that settles in our hearts and allows us to do things outside our comfort zone like oration, sharing, praying, singing and being part of a unique team.

There were times when I felt I was slowly drowning in a vat of syrup, but in accepting Christ as my Lord and Saviour I can come up to the surface and breathe. It was like breathing for the first time. That first breath took my legs away.

As I look at old hymns and new worship songs and see the words of war I do not cower in the corner. I do not now see my life as a battle, it was, and now there is peace. I surrender, waved the white flag, committed totally to following Jesus. I am not in a war. There is a battle going on around me, Satan trying to loosen my grip on the Lord but the more he tries the more I cling to the Lord. In His arms I get protection, safety, security and no worries. What is past is gone, over, forgotten. What is to come is in God’s hands, not mine. I live in the moment of today. Some moments are tough, some are less so but I know that this way of living, giving my life away to the Lord, knowing he surrounds me with Love that is immeasurable. My life is not my own, if I must go through the fire again for further honing sobeit, I am ready.

Battle_over

Am I a soldier of the cross,

A follower of the Lamb,

And shall I fear to own His cause,

Or blush to speak His Name?

And when the battle’s over

We shall wear a crown!

Yes, we shall wear a crown! x2

And when the battle’s over

We shall wear a crown

In the new Jerusalem

Wear a crown (wear a crown) x2

Wear a bright and shining crown;

And when the battle’s over

We shall wear a crown

In the new Jerusalem.

Must I be carried to the skies

On flowery beds of ease,

While others fought to win the prize,

And sailed through bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?

Must I not stem the flood?

Is this vile world a friend to grace,

To help me on to God?

sunbeam living

I heard of this Scottish woman, known locally as the “Sunbeam”, I know I was going to find a person who lived their faith through the lives of those of those around them. I mean think about it, how many nicknames do you know that are positive? A person’s nickname usually is looking at a physical deformity, a speech impediment or limp. After that it is the habits that people see as annoying like grumpiness or angry. A long time ago I had friends called Purple Nose and Frazzles, a man with a nose the perfect hue of purple and a man who had an accident as a child and was frazzled by an electricity cable.

Her hymns were not published until after her death and two of the eight are still sung in many churches today. She lived until 38 years of age, it is unknown if she married or had children but she was a child of God who lived by faith not by sight.

Two_birds

Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand,

The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land;

A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,

From the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day.

O safe and happy shelter, O refuge tried and sweet,

O trysting place where Heaven’s love and Heaven’s justice meet!

As to the holy patriarch that wondrous dream was given,

So seems my Savior’s cross to me, a ladder up to heaven.

There lies beneath its shadow but on the further side

The darkness of an awful grave that gapes both deep and wide

And there between us stands the cross two arms outstretched to save

A watchman set to guard the way from that eternal grave.

Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see

The very dying form of One Who suffered there for me;

And from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess;

The wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place;

I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face;

Content to let the world go by to know no gain or loss,

My sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.

so I got hope

Hands

There has been a running issue in my writing for some time now balancing the “hope” I live with the characters in hopeless situations that I create.

A tension was created, everything I wrote seemed trite and twee if I included “hope”

and

then

today

on a whim I wrote a piece for writing group on Friday morning next and

“by jove, I think she’s got it!”

judge for yourself:

Could this be love

Eagle talk is all I heard. These magnificent creatures that could swoop down at great speed after spying some tasty morsel, a kit of a rabbit perhaps and carry it in its talons to a feeding place. Eagles that sat in caves preening, cleaning and plucking out feathers. The talk turned to us we could soar like eagles.

Poppycock! Try living life as a bird that hasn’t just had its wings clipped but chopped off. You’ll fly no more. I left, I couldn’t cope with these moral high ladies who talked about a God who loves. If he loved so much why was I sat in this situation? I had questions but no one to ask.

This body scarred and bruised by self and well as the saying goes marry in haste I have tons of leisure time to reflect on that hastiness. One day married, the next a rainbow coloured mark around my eye. But to leave this, which was my only stability, to leave was never an option. Threats of finding, searching, discovering and punishing were ever present.

Eagles, pshew, they had a life, soaring above the world, observing us like ants in a farm, ever watchful waiting for the next meal to appear naively from a whitethorn row. Patchwork hills and valleys hiding sorrow and loss, masking brutality in the name of marriage, veiling despair and hopelessness.

Tonight though I woke in a cold sweat from the oddest of dreams, the day that brought eagles had turned into a night filled with awe. A song played in the background of the encounter, a soundtrack from a previous decade Could this be love? the singer asked. The voice in the dream, there was a face, or an image of a face, or a shadow but each time I tried to look at it straight it moved to the corner of my eye again. The voice spoke not to my mind but to my very core. It changed everything. It said he does not love you or respect you, you can leave. I love you now as I always have and always will. I love you. Full stop.

I did not sleep again, I lay still, bathed in a beautiful peace that transcended the situation. As the new day dawned I stretched out my arms feeling the wings that I thought long gone, stretching out unseen, waiting for the time of flight, waiting for direction. Waiting in hope.

Suzie Gallagher