This past year it was steadfast. You really never know what shape these things are going to take.
Please, God, let lessons that are to be learned on this subject be gentle ones. Or give me the strength to endure them.
That prayer was very definitely answered.
Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways. – Proverbs 4:25-26
I can’t speak much on this word in my life over the past year. Here is what I can say — I have spent a great deal of time being quiet and thinking. Turning my head and trying to keep my eyes straight ahead, fixing my gaze. Lately I have been thinking a lot about the paths my feet are on. I think the coming year is a big one and I can’t shake that feeling.
A meandering little trail led me to the word that I have chosen for 2013. It is not where I started out, it’s not where I thought I would be, but I am here now. I am content and I realize why. Let me share the word and the various definitions I hope this year molds into.
To try to grasp or touch something
To succeed in getting in contact with or communicating with
To succeed in having an effect on
To arrive at; attain
Then there is the one meaning that I was unaware of, that conjures up imagery that ties things up nicely and makes sense (even if it’s only to me).
The stretch of water visible between bends in a river
Isn’t that just perfect? Between bends in a river. My mind is a sea of metaphors.
How did I end up here? Well…
STEP FORWARD –> ACT –> PURSUE –> TRAVEL –> WONDER –> REACH
And when I hit that, I knew, all because of a lyric I misheard when I was 12. On Sarah Brightman’s “Time to Say Goodbye” album, she sings “No One Like You” (a melody I realized came from the movie Powder) and at the beginning of the track there is a shortened recitation of the William Morris poem, “October.”
by William Morris
O love, turn from the changing sea and gaze,
Down these grey slopes, upon the year grown old,
A-dying ‘mid the autumn-scented haze
That hangeth o’er the hollow in the wold,
Where the wind-bitten ancient elms infold
Grey church, long barn, orchard, and red-roofed stead,
Wrought in dead days for men a long while dead.
Come down, O love; may not our hands still meet,
Since still we live today, forgetting June,
Forgetting May, deeming October sweet?–
–Oh, hearken! hearken! through the afternoon
The grey tower sings a strange old tinkling tune!
Sweet, sweet, and sad, the toiling year’s last breath,
To satiate of life, to strive with death.
And we too–will it not be soft and kind,
That rest from life, from patience, and from pain,
That rest from bliss we know not when we find,
That rest from love which ne’er the end can gain?
–Hark! how the tune swells, that erewhile did wane!
Look up, love!–Ah! cling close, and never move!
How can I have enough of life and love?
I misheard “And we too” as “And reaching” and even though I have known the correct words for years, my original understanding remains at the back of my mind. This poem has been bouncing around in my head lately, so it was only appropriate for me to end up back at that word and scrawl it, with all its definitions, across the pages of the coming year.