Hammocked

Written by Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan, Visitation Alumna ’93

Sacred space, when analog time holds no meaning,

life suspends itself like a hammock between two rooted trees swaying in the breeze between here and there,

between before and after,

swaying into that intimate space of the present.

When all you can do is breathe, deep breaths, shallow breaths, breaths…because no one can prepare you for the threshold you are crossing over,

they can only silently, reverently, hold a hand,

offer a gaze,

provide a subtle gesture to let you know that you do not walk alone;

the oils you were baptized with, blessed with, live in that garden of your body’s memory.

The hands that laid upon your own still lay there caressing you.

No, no one can do what your life asks of you.

They can just lay down on the tall grass next to you and sigh,

watching with you as the clouds overhead pass,

and notice as the ant climbs that blade of grass near your face and the tall strand curves under its presence,

much like the arc of God’s arms cradle our weight in his embrace as we strive to climb nearer to his heart.

And when we rise together from the summer’s green grass

and look back at the matted imprints our body’s left behind

we know we were there

in that sacred space of raw, real life that brings us to our knees

only to know what it is like to rise rooted again.

______________________

(Poem, prayer inspired by the Kiemde family.)

12 Responses

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  1. This is so gentle, heartfelt, and beautiful.

    God be with the Kiemde Family.

  2. This is so beautiful, full of heart and compassion. Thank you for sharing

  3. Oh, Elizabeth…
    So beautiful. Thank you.

    “No, no one can do what your life asks of you.
    They can just lay down on the tall grass next to you…

    matted imprints our body’s left behind
    we know we were there
    in that sacred space of raw, real life that brings us to our knees
    only to know what it is like to rise rooted again.”

    AMEN.
    Love,
    Melissa

  4. This is a such a peaceful, comforting poem. Thank you for sharing it.

    Liz

  5. The hammock at my family’s cabin is where my spirit is most restored, so the image holds a special place in my heart. God’s arms as cradle caught my breath. Prayers abound! Sacred space, sacred time . . .

  6. Ann, love your last name, stunning. Yes, hammocks are sacred space. thank you for your comment and prayers.

  7. Liz, when I wrote this you and another family are poured out in these words and were on my heart as well and in my prayers of please please please…as Annie Lamott encourages we pray please, please, please.

  8. Melissa, love. Amen. Prayers.

  9. jody and betty lou, thank you for reading and praying and being good friends to the Kiemdes!

  10. Well, Beth, you found words after all. The night you wrote you told me you did not have words for a blog. No, you had more than words, you had the beautiful image of a hammock to reveal your heart. Thank you, Elizabeth! Love,SKatherine

  11. I read the blogs regularly. This is a beautiful poem but somehow I missed what happened with the Kiemde family.

  12. I thought this sounded familiar. I loved reading it again. I also loved reading the comments. I don’t recall seeing them before.

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