I was lost in March and the beginnings of April. Caught up in events, friends, sports, and life. That’s my excuse for my absence from Red Swan. And it seems every time I thought of something to write, mulled it over in the shower or the drive to work, by the time I found a few moments to sit and write I was too exhausted.
These many days have included some soul-searching. The month of March found me uncomfortable in my employment, found me questioning my role, stressing over my future. Not sure where it came from, but it must’ve been at the bottom of that bag I’ve been carrying around, the one called What-if. So I went in search of possibilities. I tested the waters of new. Took a tiny sip from the cup of change. And what did I find?
I discovered some not-so-subtle messages from my guardian angel. The very week I ventured away, incredible things began to happen to me at the university. I met new people. A student thanked me for assisting him and his future. I received wonderful news. And someone lifted me high in encouragement (okay, okay, I’m listening).
And while yesterday was a successful work day, complete with assisting in the creation of student scholarships and scheduling a time in June to meet with an incredible alum from South Africa, I felt those icy fingers of doubt on my shoulders, just enough to tighten the muscles in my neck. By the time I reached the chapel for my weekly one hour of adoration, I was filled with doubt, a twinge of sadness, and a whole lot of anger aimed inward.
The chapel is always dimly lit, quiet, and the smell of melting candle wax always is the first thing to soothe my senses. I knelt in the freshly waxed pew, put my head in my hands and looked down. Placed in the pew in front of me was a small square of paper with purple typing. I picked it up and read, “The Donkey by GK Chesterton.” I had not read the poem in many, many years. I read it over and over, each time my eyes brimming with tears. And when I left the chapel an hour later, I placed it back in the pew for the next drifting soul to discover.
Okay, okay, I’m listening, I’m reading, I get it.
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood,
Then, surely, I was born. With monstrous head and sickening bray
And ears like errant wings—
The devil’s walking parody
Of all four-footed things:
The battered outlaw of the earth
Of ancient crooked will;
Scourge, beat, deride me—I am dumb—
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour—
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout around my head
And palms about my feet.