Saturday, 11 December 2021 21:58


Written by  Priscilla K. Garatti
Shelter Photo by Steve Wood

Poem In The Night Watches

You are the beloved.

Hide in me.

Shelter in me.

For this is the season of healing favor.

And I will help you like a father.~Poem I heard in my dream, December 10, 2021

Perhaps my dream manifested when I opened a Christmas card that contained the image you see in the post. The photograph is described as "A shelterbelt in Aurora County, South Dakota." The inscription on the card said, "You hide them safely away."~Psalm 31:20. 

I ponder my dream now too. In the dream, I sat at a desk in a room with a high ceiling. Light streamed in through long-paned windows that created dappled patterns on a wooden floor. A few high-backed dining chairs were positioned around the room. There was no other furniture or décor. I heard a knock on the door outside the room and called out, "Come in." A young man, maybe 25, entered the room and stood before me. His dark hair was short, shaved closely on the sides, his eyes deeply blue, cobalt. He wore jeans, slashed at the knees and a gray long-sleeved shirt. He didn't speak, but he didn't really need to. His expression was profoundly sad, like his face was about to melt. For a split second, I almost told him to go away. But I could tell he was friendly, just very, very sad. Then I said to him, "You can stay, because you've helped me to process some of my own sadness and disappointment, especially during this god-awful Pandemic. But you have to promise me one thing, if I let you stay, you'll have to agree to sit down and take care of yourself, drink some hot tea. We need to invite some joy and laughter into this big room, fill it up with some other things besides sadness. Will you do that?" I asked. He nodded his head, a smile beginning to bloom on his handsome face and sat down. I poured him some tea. It might have been peppermint.

Somewhere amidst that dream, I heard the poem. Over these past months, many of you have contacted me. Life during COVID has brought such pain and sadness. Death, divorce, job loss, financial instability, chronic health problems, injuries, surgeries, anixiety and drepression. Suicide. Some are experiencing compassion fatigue caring for elders and children with special needs. Others are in difficult relationships that seem impossible to maintain. We are all weary. And COVID continues. It's like the movie, Groundhog Day. It's the same day over and over and over.  Perhaps my dream may be a way to create ideas that could provide ourselves respite. We don't boot out "sadness," because it's a worthy emotion that helps us process grief and loss. But maybe we could ask him to sit down and take a break. Pour him a nice cup of hot, fragrant tea. Perhaps we could invite some joy inside the lovely, light-filled hall. Call in some musicians to provide some merriment. Hire a comedian to make us laugh. Maybe we could shelter inside that conviviality for a while. (The room is huge, so we could social distance.) Show ourselves some compassion from all the ways life gets hard. Create our own shelterbelt and allow God to hide us safely away.

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What Readers Are Saying

In Missing God Priscilla takes a brave and unflinching look at grief and the myriad ways in which it isolates one person from another. The characters are full-bodied and the writing is mesmerizing. Best of all, there is ample room for hope to break through. This is a must read.

Beth Webb-Hart (author of Grace At Lowtide)

winner"On A Clear Blue Day" won an "Enduring Light" Bronze medal in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.

winnerAn excerpt from Missing God won as an Honorable Mention Finalist in Glimmertrain’s short story “Family Matters” contest in April 2010.