Church of the Empty Nest

IMG_20160124_101358_598I went to church today
The church of the empty nest
The church of the unbroken snow
The church of the bare trees
I went to church today and felt
Deeply felt
My heart
My soul
My voice
Deeply deeply felt
The silence of the newly fallen snow
I felt, deeper, even deeper
Not just in the snow,
In the new fallen snow,
But a path
through my heart
through my soul
In this holy church,
This church of the holy trees
Holy river
I feel a loss
Of being a mother
Of how afraid I was
Of how I was told
Over and over again and again
How I was not good enough
Not enough

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I remember those times
As a mother
How I didn’t know
But was told
In every way
I was not good enough
Especially for my gender
Not being good enough
To please
Satisfy
Others
To care for others
Enough
Now, I know in this holy church
I am loved
Appreciated
For my love, playfulness, forgiveness
How I wish I had those traits
When I was younger
When I was afraid

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In this church
Of the holy sacredness
There is no time
No schedule
No first service
Later service
Or Saturday evening service
There is just going outside
Looking to the sky
Looking to the earth
Looking to the east and the sun
Looking to the west and the trees
Looking into a neighbor’s eyes
Looking into your heart
I went to church and
I served my soul

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Just

I remember the last information on the news
Body Bag count

I remember wearing the POW bracelet
connected each day to a life either lost or missing

I do not remember hearing stories from my father
and his fighting in WWII

I remember telling veterans
in an arrogant youthful innocent voice
You had a choice. You didn’t have to go.
Before I truly understood how
words are the first weapon of choice

I remember being taught the
Just War theory and getting that sick feeling
that what I was being taught was not true

I remember arguing with the person on the phone
someone from Selective Service
when I was told that there was no option to declare
conscious objector until being called to service

I remember hearing story after story, with great sadness
the cost of refusing to answer the call to military service

I remember bringing home the book “Johnny Got His Gun” by Dalton Trumbo
and being told I was not allowed to read the book.
I remember reading it
shocked at the treatment of veterans
by the country that called them to arms

I remember those who lost lives, limbs, dignity
in the name of war
I remember them each time I advocate for the
choice
action
courage of
non-violence
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