On an island midst the sea she stands.
Around her the blue-grey labyrinth of
walls and gates extend.
High walls that all but exclude the sun.
Deep shadows do they throw.
There are places where the sun cannot shine.
The chill of these places reaches to her bones.
She pulls her cloak tighter.
Walking around this emplacement she senses others.
Hears muffled footsteps echoing off the walls.
Catches fleeing figures through the corner of her eye.
But she sees no-one; interacts with no-one.
But to her this feels familiar; safe.
She has grown up in it and
it has grown up around her.
She walks to the open main gate and looks out.
The emplacement is an island,
but it stands only a short distance from the mainland.
She looks out on green fields and woods opposite her.
On sun soaked fields and trees gently moving in the wind.
The small white houses dotted around the hills.
Sometimes the sound of voices and laughter
get caught by the wind and are wafted over the sea to her.
But there is a divide.
A fast-flowing deep blue water separates her from this land.
Stout poles mark the edge of the causeway that links the two.
Around each pole extends a sizeable wake,
so fast does the water flow.
Even at the lowest tide the causeway is invisible.
Always there, but always covered.
Little does she know that the water is shallow.
make it a thing to fear.
But still she feels drawn.
Slowly she walks through the gateway,
down the path to the causeway.
Walking away from isolation towards warmth and light.
At the waters edge she stops.
The way-marking poles stretch into the distance.
They mark the safe passage, but one that cannot be seen.
One that has to be taken on faith.
The waters brood around each pole.
She cannot see how deep the water will be.
Still she feels drawn.
From here she can see people on the mainland.
She can hear their voices.
She stands transfixed for a moment,
not knowing whether to go forward or back.
Then a warm breeze catches her hair
and she hears the whisper “come; trust; do not fear”.
She drops her cloak from her shoulders.
With courage she takes a step into the frigid waters.
They encircle her toes.
A step of faith into the unknown.
Little does she know it,
but her journey of faith and love has begun.
Begun with one small step.
I was almost not going to write anything extra about this poem but leave it to each reader to come to their own conclusions.
I admit that this is a very allegorical poem based on a number of pictures God gave me which when put together made this story.
Suffice it to say that all our journeys into a personal relationship with God started with a single step of faith.
In many ways the last year has been a “journey” for me too. A journey rekindling my desire to start writing poems again and (even more scary for me) sharing them openly with others. Partially this has been a journey of obedience in that I have started to act on what I feel God is telling me to do rather than find excuses not too.
On this journey over the past year I have been greatly encouraged by a number of individuals who all happen to be called Jo. So I dedicate this poem to Jo M. Jo. J. and my own Jo. Thanks for all your encouragement, please keep holding me to account!