Barren Land and Plenty
by Sarah Freymuth
Rough scrape of leaves across pavement. Trees blend of barren twigs for branches, burnt orange, red wine, apple yellow.
Invisible God manifested in the breeze cool on my face, gliding through my hair. Dome of blue sky arched around the perimeter of land, jet stream the only puncture of white in a space void of clouds. Ruffle of evergreen reminiscent of swan plume.
My brother and I share a small table on the side patio of the town café. Late October, all the customers stay inside, close to the steam of espresso machine and heat of the sandwich griddle. Out here in the shade, it is him and I, away from the world and lost in our own words. Vacant land across the parking lot lays empty but full for the imagination.
This is precious time we have entered. In the morning I will be strapped into the seat of an airplane and carried away from home and to my here. Back to cracked-open in multiple places, various roles I have yet to understand. Back to no touch except for hugs from the ladies at my church, once a week nurturing that I’m still starved for because it’s not enough.
But here, across the table, my brother’s heart is tied to mine and I am filled to the brim without even uttering one breath. I helped to grow him up and he, in turn, taught me the unending swell of love.
There is no place better than Autumn in Wisconsin. Grass stands a little too high, lush and leaning toward last rays of a butter sun. The familiar creak of our heavy wood door revolving siblings and parents and visitors through the kitchen and out to line of cars in the driveway.
Winter is coming, but for now the squirrels are scampering among the pines and all my people are around me. My heart beats easier, mind loosened from its constant knot. I have burrowed deep in the limbs of trees, crash of waves on sand, billow of clouds in a world of natural wonder. I can simply soak in the world around me with nourished heart and home stitched under my skin.
I really am meant to have a poet’s eye to see the beauty in the everyday, tiny details give words and life to the still frames of moments that otherwise pass into the caverns of history.
Here is where God resides closest to me. Here is where it all began, where His presence still pulses in rhythm to my own. We’re all on precious time, wherever we land. Whether we’re set where we want to be or in upheaval. What we have is our one breath, and then another.
My brother’s eyes fasten to the page before him, hand gripping pen and fusing heart to poetry. Full of wonder and what if. When he lifts his face to find mine, I am reminded afresh of how tender his heart rends, how much of myself I see in him. How love gives extravagantly without thought.
Rest. If only in this minute, this moment with my brother, the beat of my heart that God has put within me to remind that He is everywhere, in my barren land and plenty.
Sarah Freymuth writes at the intersection of beauty and the every day while grappling with God’s goodness when life projects otherwise. She is the communications manager for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a member of Redbud Writers Guild, is the editor of Awake Our Hearts, loves a good cup of black coffee, and enjoys her simple Midwest life in Wisconsin. Connect with her at www.sarahfreymuth.com and Instagram, and Facebook.