My treasured keepsakes bulge in pockets of time—rather moments—that are tucked hard against the bones of my heart. They remain as fresh and life-giving as the first-offerings of spring rosesbuds, tight with fragrance and bleeding of crimson that smears across my fingers as I pull them out one petal at a time. The edges are velvety but frayed—somehow old and young at once.
As a child and an adult, I’ve sat at the piano with Bach or Chopin for two or three hours at a time in awe of such a remotely deep connection. I’ve lived close to the blue Danube and sprinkled my food with the richest paprikash of Hungarian delight. The deep, foreboding underground metro in Moscow scared and scarred me awake as did Lenin’s black marble tomb. The silver chopsticks of Korea dubbed me an amateur on the hard floor of a church basement. My muscles revolted in pain, but the days of kindred fellowship rose higher than the inconvenience.
I’ve enfolded prayers into the cracks of the Western Wall and witnessed the great religions of the world collapse into obscurity at Skull Hill’s sepulcher.
I’ve allowed the Psalms of Ethiopia to wash over me in Addis Ababa as tears flowed for the marrow of civilization in the light of eternity. The elegant Ethiopians walked across my belly and touched the palm of my hands, and the beat of their prayer sticks lifted my soul and feet to praise. I have never really left that country to this day.
I’ve admired the ancient terracing of Cyprus just before sundown when shadows lengthen in beauty; and I’ve drooled over the tender buds of almond flowers breaking open, wild with hope.
The faded Kodak of two-year old Bonnie sitting on my Grandpa Saul’s lap lives on as if it happened yesterday as do the promises and kisses of marriage at the altar in a flurry of ivory, lace, and the palest lavender. Years later my husband and I lived from suitcase to airplane and stood on three continents in one week and proclaimed the one true God in the exact image of Jesus. We knew more of weakness than strength and asked for grace to fear the Lord where all obedience begins and ends.
Now I hold my grand babies and realize my pockets of moments are full and deep. I’ll keep jamming the seasons into the ample, unbuttoned openings until the seams bust—bust with joy—
joy for more
and the ultimate joy of no more.