Light is playing with me today. I posted how delicious it is over at my This Abundantly Delicious Life blog in a post called Sunbeams. Light spoke to me again this morning when I was preparing to send one of my books to a new survivor friend. As I was rummaging through my ‘book box’ to assemble a package for her, I came across a poem I wrote about a year ago called Into The Light.
Into the Light was the first poem that I wrote ‘on demand’. A survivor friend of mine who was coordinating our local Johnson County Relay for Life asked if I would write a poem for the first annual Caregiver Ceremony that was being hosted as part of the 20th anniversary festivities at the Relay. While I was honored, I wasn’t sure I could do it. After all, the poetry that my friend loved was inspired by my own experience with cancer. It flowed out of me like a river of healing as a way for me to care for myself. Could I experience the same sense of flow by giving my heart over to caring for all the people who care for us survivors?
The answer came as soon as I got in the car after the request. It started with one little word bubbling up. The one invited others. I could feel the creative energy filling me. I remember opening the glove box and getting out paper and pen so I could capture what was coming. The flood gates opened – of course I could fulfill this beautiful request. As the ideas continued to flow in the week that followed, I wrote them all down. After some ‘percolating’time, I type the words into my computer and the creative process continued. The pieces started coming together beautifully. I was amazed.
Today’s post is dedicated to caregivers everywhere who give their hearts and talent.
Into the Light
By Vicki L. Flaherty
When a diagnosis spins our world out of control,
You are the balance that steadies us from the fall.
When we wait impatiently for answers to questions we don’t want to ask,
Your soothing voice calms and reassures us.
When decisions swirl around us as if we are drowning,
You are the air at the surface that helps us breathe.
When we are afraid and uncertain about what’s next,
You are the fortress protecting us from the storms ahead.
When the noise in our heads murmurs incessantly,
You are the quiet sanctuary where we find peace.
When we feel ourselves melting away,
You are the earth angels with outstretched arms holding us.
When the pain in our weary, tired bodies seems never ending,
You are the medicine that soothes our aches.
When we don’t have the strength to take another step,
You are the wind at our backs guiding us gently forward.
When the emotional wreckage is more than we can sift through,
You are the helping hand sweeping away our grief.
When life feels like a scorching desert wasteland,
You are the oasis filling our souls with nourishing waters.
When our worries fall like a heavy rain,
You are the shelter protecting us from the damp and cold.
When we are lost with our destination unknown,
You are the home from where we find our way.
You are our husbands, our wives, our partners
You are our mothers and fathers, our grandparents
You are our sisters and brothers, our daughters and sons
You are our aunts and uncles, our nieces and nephews, our cousins
You are the family who hears our feelings hidden under the surface.
You are our friends,
You are our colleagues,
You are our spiritual guides,
You are the community who sees through the strength we wear like armor.
You are our doctors, our nurses,
You are our pharmacists, our therapists,
You are our healers and our providers
You fill the hospitals and clinics with wisdom and comfort for our pain.
You are the lights, like a million stars in the sky,
guiding us as we walk through the darkest hours of night.
You are the blanket that wraps us when we awaken from the dream,
warming us to the possibility of the sun rising and golden light.
© Vicki Flaherty, 2012