Sunday, May 08, 2011

Luminous Times

Those were luminous days.

Glowing smiles and shining rings,

Six yellow-clad girls wandering down a long aisle.

A tiny kitchen bathed in morning light,

Breakfasts at a table only big enough for two.

A living room just large enough to turn round in,

A tub too small even for that.

Bookshelves full of books all mixed together,

A crib full of a smiling little turtle.
Those were luminous days.

Those were luminous weeks.

Mine measured by classes, and projects,

and long days away; a college rhythm.

Your forty (again! surprise!) measured by drives

to Algonac, with stops at McDonald's.

Two whole bedrooms, and a living room!

With a front window overlooking a parking lot.

A contraband Christmas tree festooned with lights,

A hobbit in the doorway and another fuzzy head to love.
Those were luminous weeks.

Those were luminous months.

A house of our own and a blue station wagon,

Summer sun streaming across the front lawn.

My first real job, long early commutes,

So many adopted aunts to share our home.

Drives to Richmond, classes beneath the grain elevators,

A walk to the corner in a blizzard.

Peepers, and Bulldogs, and Squiggys,

And one you wouldn't mind if he was the last.
Those were luminous months.

Those were luminous years.

Flashing past, season by season,

Almost too quickly to track.

A giant van with a funny name,

And great passenger miles per gallon.

Halftime shows and quiz bowl meets and dance recitals,

Lean years and rich years and “Cago-Mento” years.

Star fields in the front window and

A peppermint from the ceiling.
Those were luminous years.

Those were luminous decades.

A familiar white house, living now only in memory,

An upstairs hall lit by summer sunsets.

A deck in the morning breeze,

Counting down months to a midwinter retreat.

Nestlings making nests of their own,

A homestead under the shadow of loss.

A surprise find; grapes among the bushes,

An Advent sacrificed and a house remade.
Those were luminous decades.

Yes, there were shadows.

The ones we never got to hold,

The family lost and friends who followed.

The encroaching fear, the misunderstandings and conflicts,

Some days heavier than lead.

But looking back at the clouds and brightness,

A Glorious Face emerges,

And the shadows are enveloped

By the light.
Indeed, there were shadows.

Now we live.

In a house full of light,

Rich, warm wood and fresh-painted walls.

Bush surrounded, bird beset,

The kind of place your dad would have chosen.

Filled with quiet and calm,

and peace, except when

It is filled with laughter and clutter

and peace.
Now we live.

These are luminous times.

30 years, 360 months, 1565 weeks,

10957 days.

Illuminated by Radiance

Not of this world.

If what is to come is half as blessed

As what has been.

Then the time shall pass joyfully at your side,

And the days will be light.
These are luminous times.

On August 15th of this year, I will celebrate 30 years of marriage with my wonderful bride Ellen. This is for her.


Salome Ellen said...

I told you yesterday that I would spare you the teary comments; but I can't. This made me cry, not sadly, but just because you captured it all so well. (Although personally I think it was "Mento-Cago."} But now I know for sure -- you ARE a poet. I love you!

Margaret said...

This is beautiful. Congratulations as you two look forward to the next thirty years.

Branwen said...

Wow Dad! This is beautiful and so well written. I love it (and I have tears in my eyes too)!

Michele Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michele Thomas said...

(grrr comment difficulties)

A beautiful tribute, Roger, luminous in itself. Blessings on you both, and the wonderful family you have sent out into the world!

KatieButler said...

So beautiful. Wishes for many more years of happiness together.

Philumina said...

Gabby and I read this, and we both nearly cried. It is beautiful and touching and perfectly captured..
Lovely work! We miss you guys!