In winter’s cold,
Love’s warmth begot
A spark of life;
A gift, a flame.
Before your presence was apparent,
Strong and sure,
Burned tears of joy in your parents’ eyes.
Glowing ember, growing in size and form,
Fanned in the cradle of your mother’s body
By your father’s breath whispering,
Whispering life to his little girl.
Friends had heartaches along the way;
Mercifully, God increased your perfection.
Your parents relied on Him;
They counted the cost with gratitude,
Trusting anew each day,
Preparing to welcome you,
Knowing already how priceless you are,
Loving you before they knew you.
With care, a home was prepared for you as for royalty;
Innumerable gifts bestowed,
Colors painted, gardens tended, sunlight invited in –
Soft, safe, and bright.
By any measure, you came right on time.
Strong, graceful, and determined,
Your mama labored for you,
Leaning into your daddy,
Asking God for help.
In her mind, she went out to the dark of morning,
Through sunrise, in view of tree-covered hills
And the August mist crowning Massanutten.
Eager to meet the gift of you,
Your parents urged you down,
Clinging to each other,
Enduring the promised pain
And unexpected turmoil of heart
To bring, to push you out together.
Told the story of the trials
As it waxed and waned
Like the moon –
A white crescent in the lightening sky –
Until you could take no more.
So for your best,
Your parents chose what seemed worse,
And the blade made another way.
While one dream died,
A new and living one was born.
Through empty halls
To waiting ears,
Your song of life echoed,
Flushed and vibrant.
In the end
That was really the beginning,
They christened you with kisses and tears,
And named you for their mountain –
For that is what your birth was for them:
High, steep, immovable;
Beautiful, but unyielding;
Lush with life,
Graceful silhouette –
An obstacle they willingly traversed
To reach and hold
The one they love.
For Afton Marie Guinn and her mommy and daddy.
August 31, 2013
Love, Aunt Shannon