The Ache

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The rain has stopped,
for now.
It fell in leaden sheets
all morning,
slanting hard and sharp.
The gutters struggling
to keep up.
The ruts in the driveway
filling to excess.
The worms
floating.

But now the sun has broken through
and the sodden earth attempts to rise.
The air that hangs between them
is heavy and swollen.
There is a chorus of birdsong.
Up the road, a lawnmower whirs,
trying to beat out the next storm.

I’m sitting on the porch,
my bare feet on the steps,
spilling into the sunshine.
I should paint my toe nails,
I think.
I should do a lot of things.

The breeze keeps blowing my hair
over my eyes.
I leave it there
letting it filter the light
so that everything is
both light and shadow.
And I am both seen
and
unseen.

It is in this space,
surrounded by golden shafts of sunlight
and swaying blades of grass,
that I recognize
the ache
the desire
the fear.
What if all I ever am
is this
right now?
Will this have been enough?

A hummingbird flies by,
it’s electric buzzing
startling in the best of ways.
Out of the corner of my eye
I catch its shadow on the concrete,
bigger than life.
I wonder if she noticed
that she was more than.
I wonder if she aches.

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Holly Grantham
Holly is a wife, very relaxed homeschooling mom of three boys, snapper of photos, coming of age writer and a soul drowning in grace. After years in Atlanta where she attended college, married the love of her life and lived in an intentional community, she found her way back to her home state of Missouri. She now lives in an antebellum stone house, raises chickens (sometimes) and pretends that she lives in the country.
Holly Grantham

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Comments

  1. Sweetheart, if this is ‘all’ there is, it is WAY MORE THAN ENOGH. I am so grateful you are in this world, Holly. So grateful.

  2. Deborah Coles says:

    Yes, the shared ache, the not-enough-ness… and the image of the hummingbird, which always resonates with me. Thank you.

  3. Oh, Holly, what a beautiful poem and inspiring words. And this, “I wonder if she noticed
    that she was more than.
    I wonder if she aches.”
    Wow, so beautiful! Blessings to you!

  4. I think this is something many of us ponder but dare not speak out loud. There is the camp that would condemn us for ever thinking that with God we weren’t enough “as is.” They would scold us and call us discontent, maybe even self-centered, and should be satisfied with the lot we find ourselves in. Then there is the other camp, perhaps battling their own internal set of questions, that would argue that God has made each of us to be BIG and to dream BIG and that there is something here on Earth that seems to always be just beyond our grasp… But it’s BIG! What I have found is that both camps are on to something. We are truly “enough” as is, and the ache we all seem to experience from time to time is due to our being made in the likeness and image of a creative and powerful God. We are enough and yes, we are more than what the naked eye can see!

    • Thank you for putting to words what is so often the case–the lack of space to struggle. Thank you for hearing me and knowing that of which I speak. It means so much.

  5. where I am both seen…..and unseen.
    goodness friend this is beautiful.

  6. Goodness! This….

    “I should paint my toe nails,
    I think.
    I should do a lot of things.”

    How quickly I go from a pleasant thought to being hard on myself….

    “The breeze keeps blowing my hair
    over my eyes.
    I leave it there
    letting it filter the light
    so that everything is
    both light and shadow.
    And I am both seen
    and
    unseen.”

    And this. Light and shadow. Seen and unseen. Soaring one minute, aching the next.

    Thank you for your words, Dr. Holly. They helped locate the shape of some of my ache too.

    xoxo

  7. I love this part:
    “The breeze keeps blowing my hair
    over my eyes.
    I leave it there
    letting it filter the light”

    Part of this reminds me of a lyric in a song in the musical “Dear Evan Hansen”:
    “Will I ever be more than I’ve always been?”

  8. Thank you, Holly, for crafting beautiful words to wrap around that struggle.
    I love reading a poem that brings to mind C.S. Lewis’s definition of friendship, the “I thought I was the only one” moment that accompanies a shared feeling.

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