2013-things-of-thanks | Week 41

Gift number 1565 is this poem by R. S. Thomas – called The Coming – which my Dad-in-law shared with me this week –


And God held in his hand

A small globe. Look, he said.

The son looked. Far off,

As through water, he saw

A scorched land of fierce

Colour. The light burned

There; crossed buildings

Cast their shadows: a bright

Serpent, a river

Uncoiled itself, radiant with slime.

                                                On a bare

Hill a bare tree saddened

The sky. Many people

Held out their thin arms

To it; as though waiting

For a vanished April

To return to its crossed

Boughs. The son watched

Them. Let me go there, he said.


And then, another 42 gifts I’ve been counting:


1566 I’ve had an orchid for just over a week and I haven’t killed it yet

1567 Wearing a new skirt –

1568 And Scott saying, ‘You like a princess!’

1569 Cam’s questions about the universe and radiation and air rescue operations and diseases

1570 Tea at Teacher Karen’s house – what a privilege!

1571 Teacher Karen’s tortoise ambling – quietly – with purpose – across the lawn and transfixing the boys

1572 Beautiful kids’ play area – fountains for splashing –

1573 And jungle gyms –

1574 And green grass –

1575 And shade

1576 Gracious UNISA lecturer taking off the pressure for marking

1577 Day off for Shirl on her birthday –

1578 And seeing the baby room almost ready for their promised gift –

1579 And chatting on the lawn with Deeghuys red velvet cupcakes and Scott

1580 Gift shopping

1581 Going for a walk around the block with Scott –

1582 And seeing the first jacarandas of the season

1583 Scott’s teacher buying him a cupcake because he couldn’t find his cake sale money

1584 Tangible sense of God’s peace and presence in my car – praying – knowing he was strengthening me for a big day

1585 Speech written – tick

1586 Two WordSpace posts sent off – tick

1587 Cam: ‘Dad, my submarine needs stabilisation wings and torpedoes.’

1588 Amazing (like, life-changing, world-view-altering stuff) mentorship breakfast with Aunty Pam

1589 Cam, Jordan and Scott ramping trucks and fire engines over the mound of river sand on our driveway

1590 Little boy filth leaving traces of fun underfoot all over the house

1591 My mom’s patience with Meagan, Craig and Cam singing ridiculously loudly (and badly) in her car

1592 Kirsty’s decisive down-to-earthness ministering to a family immobilised by grief

1593 Neighbours’ wild party eventually petering out in the early hours

1594 The boys’ first silkworms –

1595 And five out of six still alive (Scott loved one to death)

1596 Cam’s advice (‘Mom you should straighten your hair before Aunty Elaine’s birthday tea.’) –

1597 And Cam brushing my hair –

1598 And saying, ‘Your hair looks like creamy cocoa.’

1599 A lovely Saturday morning birthday tea with kind, beautiful, chilled-out friends

1600 Scott skipping his afternoon snooze and falling asleep as his head hits his 7 o’clock pillow

1601 A long newsy email from Dave Ball –

1602 And the exotic surrealism of his maritime adventures

1603 Cam: ‘Mom, why do you always buy mechanic bananas?’ (organic)

1604 More freelance work to pay for Christmas presents

1605 Murray’s gentle, phlegmatic way of presenting God’s truth

1606 Scott getting the giggles

1607 Breeze through study windows



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