These days and hours that we live in presently may be rather uncertain and confusing… there may be too many questions left unanswered to spell out our near futures. Despite all this however, there is a beautiful security in this knowledge: we love you… with an overwhelming surety and strength.
We long for the day that we will finally know you and with the small things in life, we have readied and prepared for your presence in our hearts and home the very best that we can.
Come, little one.
With all our love and more,
The Canadian evenings have begun to hold autumnal lights and shadows… the brilliancy of summer is past and the smell of dying green is in the air. I always have loved this time of year while living in Western countries. It has always been my favorite.
Yet every year, the autumn’s beauty and chill arouses a longing inside of me and I begin to miss each of my old homes in their turn, the countries and cultures that surrounded them, my old lives. This year, however, the ache for my most recent home is ever present and ever painful… I want to go home. I want to go back to our old, peaceful lives, the country that witnessed my firstborn’s birth, that held some of our best memories, and that houses some of the best of friends.
The “relentless prairies” bring no relief and seem to forever remind one of not belonging, holding as they do a giant loneliness whose presence is as endless as their grasses and whose edge is as sharp as their bitter winds.
I have now learned that homesickness cycles in waves. No sooner do you think you are moving on in your heart and mind, than another crash of salty wistfulness hits you and enters every crack and pore, stinging you with a yearning that threatens to separate you from the present altogether. I am tired of weathering through the waves and endeavoring to gasp in thankfulness between the watery walls of homesickness. But… I cannot apologize for the words that are now finding a voice for their very truth and presence provide my lungs with more oxygen and my heart more strength to keep living…
Bear with me as I finally open up and find words that put gentle fingers on the silence and dark of this past year. It is my hope that they find their way to someone else who recognizes our story in their own and takes comfort in brotherhood… or perhaps, they are just for this heart alone.
Bear with me.
Words that come, late at night…
oh to settle down
in a firm circle
of twigs and leaves
to brood in quiet warmth
over life within
sweet contentment, preparation
in a mother-breast
instead, rather alone
on the cold forest floor
(the sound of hurried streams
filling my ears)
i grub for worms
no moments for rest
soft savoring, forever gone
I lost my words.
It’s as simple as that.
The year that was the second hardest of these almost twenty-six of mine, erased my ability and desire to express life… beauty… adventure… song… even pain and shadow.
But as the summer ends with the Canadian nights growing colder and the leaves already beginning to droop, I am trying to get words out, in the hopes that a new beginning can be crafted and revealed through new words.
I am here to acknowledge that shadow, despair, sadness, dryness and ache can occur to the greatest and least of us and that if it wasn’t for some kind ears that chose to listen, I don’t know where I would be.
Here’s to the new… to being able to finally bloom where planted, even in the chill of coming winter.
This Christmas is a bit different from those of the past… at the farm in Kentucky, pill bottles and medicines mix with Christmas decorations and a wheel chair takes up room in the tiny living room along with the beautiful Christmas tree. My brother lies on the couch often staring into space as the chemo and drugs take their toll on his young body and we miss his bright activity of years past. Laughs aren’t coaxed out as easily but we try our best to make things “merry and bright” and it’s hard to keep back tears when his gingerbread man is decorated with a sad face and he is unable to take part in bonfire games. However, amidst these hard changes we’ve had hilarious games of Telephone Pictionary, visits from sweet guests, walks in the sun, foot rubs, Christmas cookies and kind letters, Little Frinsel antics, and most importantly, we are united again.
From the Frinsel family, we wish you a full and thankful Christmas in which you realize and appreciate the precious lives that surround you and the beauty and temporality of your one life. They are gifts from God. We may be in a season of shadow, but because of an event in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, we are able to live in the hope of things to come, no matter what this next year may bring. May it be the same for you.
(The following photos were taken by our beautiful family photographer, the talented Mercy Dahl back in the Canadian autumn. We hope you enjoy…)