Bluff Edge, Whidbey Island
by Luci Shaw, in Accompanied by Angels, 2006
This is the rock-rim edge of the known world.
This is the ragged planet where Christ landed,
and we are his people, craggy and knotted and burled,
and aching and lonely. Restless. Stranded.
These firs could well have framed his wooden manger
and his cross; I never encounter Advent without
Dark Friday. The days in the life of this stranger
were flecked with God-graces, threaded with human doubt.
Battered by storms of loss in her loving and grieving,
all her life Mary lived on the cliff-edge of cruel foresight.
Clinging, she rode the gusts and the glory, heaving
still with the donkey rhythm, dazzled with western light.
A tribute to our Naivasha Rift Valley Escarpment walking path, our own personal bluff edge of the rock-rimmed world, our reminder of the western light and the subtle glory of God.
And like Mary, we feel the rocking, shaking, unsettling donkey-rhythm of change. In 3 days we'll be on the airplane heading to the US for a month of Christmas, family, meetings with Serge, a couple of supporter events. Tomorrow a moving truck arrives to load up all our Kenya life and re-stack it in a borrowed half of a container, for a few months as we focus back in Bundibugyo. Today we're in the throes of the final cabinets of odds and ends and food and pieces and no more trunk space and time ticking down.
Though we love the feeling of associating "Christmas" and "home", Jesus' spent his Christmas in a shelter for animals, then in Egypt in exile, then in Galilee, then on the road to the cross. So we are praying to embrace the edginess of this ragged planet as we embark upon journey again this season, shaken into chaos but never alone.