Today I'm linking up with the Five Minute Friday community, writing for five minutes on a given prompt.
The word this week is SACRIFICE.
free image vectorstock.com
I've been a parent for over 21 years, and I hope I don't sound like I'm looking for a Nobel Prize when I say that parenting involves a lot of sacrifice. Parenting may require us to sacrifice time, privacy, peace and quiet, plans, a clean tidy house ... oh, and sleep. A lot of sleep.
As a child I took very little conscious notice of the sacrifices my parents made for me and my brothers. They weren't passive-aggressive "Why aren't you grateful for all I've done for you!" types, so I never felt the weight of guilt or shame that we kids were preventing them from enjoying the life they might otherwise have had if they hadn't been parents.
We were their life. I know that now. Maybe it's because I'm a parent, or maybe it's just because I've grown up and can see the extent to which they sacrificed in great and small ways for our happiness.
That's what this poem of mine, "On whom his favour rests," tries to capture: the spirit of sacrifice that comes from a heart of love.
On whom his favour rests
We watched from the kitchen window as Dad plunged down
the lane through knee-deep snow, flashlight beam bobbing
ahead, to start the truck. Exhaust plumed round the red
tail lights, and soft snow flurried as he brushed off the hood
and windshield. Afterward, he walked back to the barn to hitch
the horse to the sleigh, then drove it to the door for Mom
and the boys and me to climb on. We sat on bales he’d placed
on the sleigh bottom, and held tight for the lurching ride
down the lane to where the truck sat running. While we waited
in the warm cab, he returned the sleigh to the barn, tied up the horse,
and came back to the truck at last. At the time, we were so impatient:
it was Christmas concert night, and we wanted to be at the church
already, to shrug out of our coats, don angel wings or
shepherd’s robes, and act out the greatest story again. Yet
now what I think of when I recall that night is not my lines
or cues, or even the news of great joy, but the whickering sound
of the horse’s breaths, the creak of wooden shafts on leather harness,
how the stars swung shivering overhead, and how my father
did without complaint all he could to give us those times of wonder
and bring all the peace on earth our hearts could hold.