Six Word Stories (18)

I used to sit in the field making wishes on dandelion fluff.

I once rolled through the tall grasses, collecting the white seeds on my clothes and dark curls. Helping them spread as I ran back to the house, arms outstretched.

“I can fly!” I would cry, and daydream of Peter Pan and Tinkebell.

It was my life’s spring.

Now I watch my own children wading through puddles. The freshness on their cheeks and sweaters always flavored with a hint of damp growth when coming home from an evenings play.

But I still dream of fairy wings and mermaid foam.

My sisters and I used to rub our cheeks yellow with dandelion buds, and weave tiny field daises in to wreathes for our head.

Now I watch my own girls pick wildflowers and supervise as all kinds of pretend soups are mixed in sandbox buckets with sticks that are just as much magic wands as they are spoons.

The right now is there spring.

The scent of fresh tree blossoms might hold different meanings for me then they once did. But it doesn’t matter what age you are, if you listen closely with your heart they will share wisdom with you.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photos sourced from unsplash.com

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Mary’s Redbubble Shop

Spring Sunday

The passing winter mourned,
as busyness begins.
Remember friend,
dispute the sun
over rushing never wins.

Still, need for peace.
Yet thirst for rest.
Take the day God gifted you.
He knows what man needs best.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

I find myself pressing in to the simple things of life. Constantly reminded that my spirit has been calling for quiet for years, and now that I have it, it shouldn’t be abandoned. I never imagined God would use a pandemic to gift me rest. Despite the pain of isolation, he has helped me flourish in the last twelve months. I write this as my reminder to not forget.

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Mary’s Redbubble Shop

Six Word Stories (13)

I used to choose a seat closest to the doors, in the single cubbies to either side of the true passenger compartments.

“Why do you sit here all alone? It’s dangerous for a single girl.”

I had never thought of it as dangerous before the question. I enjoyed the nods and light conversation with strangers. Many of them dressed roughly, carrying bikes, or oversized backpacks.

I remember one early morning two backpacking couples joined me in the cramped space. The men sat on the ground closest to the sliding doors. I moved my backpack to make room for the two women, tired and clearly already stressed. They didn’t speak Dutch or French or even German, but their chitchat was earnest and careful.

One man wished me well on my journey in English, nodding at my bag as proof I was a kind of comrade, before departing.

The contrast from those small cubbies to the larger passenger compartments with row after row of benches is striking. Few words are ever spoken. Everyone keeps their heads bowed, their minds busy on themselves, appearing to ignore everyone else on the commute. Even so, with the clatter of the train, the call of the ticket master, and the shuffle of shoes, there is a strange companionship.

I have spent quite a few hours waiting on train platforms. In the early morning, or late in the evening, I have found them to hold a strange peace.

Everyone has somewhere, and nowhere to go. Everyone is expectant, yet bored. Isn’t that just like life can be?

I would finally reach my destination in the shadows of night. Night grows and shrinks things. It hides and reveals. It is a different world than daylight, and many people fear it. But I don’t. I know that is only because I have been kept safe. I am blessed.

Night has always been my refuge. Not a time of hiding, but a time of quiet. A time when others retreat, leaving the streets almost empty. The dirt of the day is pushed to the sides, and lays waiting for the morning to come. It’s hidden in the shadows, but it still whispers to the world all the stories it holds. Every cigarette butt, every discarded coffee cup that missed the trash can. Even the caked on muck, scraped from boots at the end of the day. It will all tell you a story, if you only stop and listen.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Hosanna Joy

Her lips were purple,
her face a powder white.
I knew my baby sister wasn’t right.

“She’s now in heaven,”
said a mother torn in grief.
“For the first time she knows relief.”

An unfinished pine box,
made by my father’s hands.
Everyone in a daze of funeral plans.

“Goodbye baby sister,
there are few as strong as you.
We won’t forget battles you fought through.”

Holding tight the ribbon,
my balloon dark maroon.
Let it go. Watch the crowd disperse too soon.

Just a memory
in a five year olds mind.
Deepened with my seasons and outlined.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo of Hosanna Joy and Mary Grace.

Remembering Grandpa

Original painting by Mary Grace van der Kroef

Remembering the smell of you
Sawdust, rich and fine

Remembering the touch of you
Prickly whisker hugs at night

Remembering the sight of you
Hands dipped in earth

Remembering the sound of you
Low, gentle, holding mirth

The card games played,
the things you made,
the books you read to us.

Did you know you
left these things?
Treasures, truth, trust

Remembering the things you taught
Gods generosity

Remembering is all I’ve got
Remembering you, loving me

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020