Have you read the story of Hannah lately, in 1 Samuel:1-2? She was taunted—for years—by the resident EFFW (Elkanah’s Fertile First Wife).
In ancient Hebraic culture, barrenness earned the community’s scorn.
Hannah laid down her dream of a family, month after month, year after year.
But hope . . .
Hannah’s joy, once finally pregnant, may have resembled mine when my manuscript was accepted (after a 20-year apprenticeship, and a paper Everest of rejection slips).
But before new life ever stirred within Hannah, she made a vow.
Did she rise that day, resolved? No caveats, no second thoughts? We know she uttered one life-altering promise: “This child will be yours, God. After he’s weaned.”
At two to three years of age, Samuel would still be sleeping between his parents. Learning to dress himself. Learning to speak.
“Pick a different condition!” I want to shout from the sidelines. “It’s too hard. No one’s up to this.”
(Once accepted, Where the Sky Opens took two years to come of age—plenty of time to dread its reception in an often inhospitable world.)
Did Hannah’s promise disturb her sleep, at times? Overshadow her days?
Did it heighten each developmental milestone?—
- first smile
- calling her Ima
- pulling up
- toddling . . .
Each skill mastered brought separation one step nearer
On Goodbye Day, what would it feel like packing the small extra robe, the favorite blanket and toy?
Eli, the aging holy man at the tabernacle, would raise their child—Eli, who failed to manage his own unruly adult sons.
Would some kindly woman sing Samuel to sleep? Sponge his brow with a cool cloth?
Hannah’s send-off was also born of love, surrender, and gratitude. She trusted the outcome to God.
Once Samuel was gone, Hannah made him a new robe every year.
Imagine the planning! Weave the softest linen, estimate size, adorn the neckline with contrasting, handspun thread. Add pockets.
I picture her head bowed over the needle’s path: in, then out.
If Samuel needed stitches to close a wound, would Eli manage? Would the man of God prove handy with patches, and hems?
Stitch by stitch
I’ve nearly come apart at the seams a few times. I’ve let the book move out into the world and tend it now at a distance. I hope it thrives in whatever hearts and settings make it welcome.
But how does a homebody/introvert do marketing?
Where the Sky Opens is slowly finding homes, often in the hearts of those who normally don’t read poetry. I love to link people with poems that speak to them.
I will make little coats for the book, one after another. This feels tender, relational, true to the way I’m wired.
Meanwhile, I am wildly grateful!
Friends, your encouragement and interest, your listening, your willingness to read outside your comfort zone, your prayers and social media “shares,” your thank you notes—are a series of little coats.
Special thanks go to my Sky Team, who recently read, reviewed, and shared the book with your circles.
Do visit the websites, listed below. Each site has riches on offer.
p.s. There’s no deadline on posting a reader review on Amazon. 🙂
p.p.s. If you’re interested in hosting a reading in your home, please email me.
And now . . . the names, please:
Drum roll ~~~
Laura Brown makesyoumom.com
Jody Collins threewaylight.blogspot.com / http://wordfacets.blogspot.com/
Carol Hiestand carolhiestand.com
Joy Lenton wordsofjoy.me / poetryjoy.com
Wendie Mitchell triciastroops.org
Linda Jo Reed lindajoreed.com
Stefani Rossi www.stefanirossi.com
Jane Rubietta janerubietta.com