each moment with you
awakens in me
new profound joy
I wrote this poem thinking about my daughter. This past few years have been difficult, but I am extremely grateful to have come through separation and divorce without loosing my appreciation for joy. I would rather have my daughter grow up in two happy households, and then one filled with bitterness and silence.
Each person’s journey is different, and mine is definitely not the one I thought I signed up for, but it’s the one I got in order to grow; I can either embrace it with gratitude, or try to run filled with fear and hate. I choose the first option on a daily basis, and some days I fail miserably. Each day is an opportunity to learn from my mistakes and grow.
My daughter has been a great teacher on how to embrace each momemt, and open my heart to each moment of joy, sadness, beauty, and simply be.
I wouldn’t have experienced moments like this without my daughter in my life. Experiencing a zoo through a child’s eyes is magical, and one that makes my heart full. I am so grateful I was able to share this moment with my daughter, my mother, and of course a giraffe named Jack. Each day is an adventure. 😉
My own personal difficulty this year has been going through separation and divorce. I have been able to talk about it freely with some people in my circle, but not everyone I know. My experience has been that life is not an either or, but a both and. Even this year, I have been able experience wide spectrum of human feelings and emotions, some days I am sad and few moments later laughing and so grateful I can enjoy moments with my 2 year old daughter.
Slowly, but surely, I am experiencing fun again in my life. My divorce is in its final stages and I am just waiting for the judge to sign the paperwork. It’s been a journey to let go and let God, even with this. I am embracing hope and trying not to live in resentments or fear. Today, I am grateful to experience love and support from all around me, because I had the courage to be honest and ask for help when I needed. Also, sharing my own journey and my difficulties has allowed others to share their struggles and how they have made it to the other side. I hope each of you keep trusting and walking through the dark, even when things seem so bleak. I am here to say that there’s hope.
Evagrius Ponticus, an influential desert monastic, writes that we should “seek out places that are free from distraction, and solitary. Do not be afraid of the noises you may hear. Even if you should see some demonic fantasy, do not be terrified or flee frm the training ground so apt for your progress. Endure fearlessly, and you will see the great things of God, His help His care, and all the assurances of salvation” (V1:35, Teachings on Asceticism and Stillness in the Solitary Life).
I am not a monk that lives out in the desert. I live in the 21st century as an urban dad. I work as a chaplain to pay my bills and child support, and spend time with my 2 year old daughter.
However, I do identify with Evagrius’ words. My separation and upcoming divorce in a month has been a wilderness experience of my heart. I struggle to return to the inner cell of my heart to rest in the deep silence of peace and serenity from my Higher Power, or what Quakers call Divine Presence.
I have struggleded not loose myself in fantasy and anxiety of the future or wallow in what could have been different in my past. Grief is hard and “enduring fearlessly” as Evagrius suggests has been diffcult. But I have been doing the best I can to let go and let God, and trusting in a hope I do not understand or believe at some moments. All I can do sometimes is take a tiny step forward, and for now it’s enough.
I am not sure what great things I’ll see, but so far it’s enough to see our daughter happy and growing up in two loving households.