Thuruna Bay

Sometimes it feels
we are delivered alone and dispossessed
to the very back paddocks of life.

When the night is at its longest and coldest
it seems there will never again be light.
And we may be exposed
half frozen
wishing in the darkness
that life had never been.

And that which hints light may come again
reveals no cheer
Although grey emerges
it is fog- which deadens everything
and presses on the soul.

Menacing mallee shadows
which share the shape of other evils
grow out of the grey
threatening to spill yet more pain
into the frosted paddock of our life.

Frozen, lifeless furrows
turning us over
dug into us by another's hand-

If this is Creation, Lord
this frozen, freezing violence
bowing us down
clawing us
crushing us
freezing us foetal-
endless ice in our hearts…
I would sooner lie down in the frost and die.

It cannot yet be colder, Lord?
Yet so it becomes
A certain safe stillness
by soul chilling eddies which float fog-wrapped fear around us.

But this is movement
This is movement!
Life begins again!
The smallest hope of colour beyond the grey
grows in our heart.

Perhaps a soul could venture
across the dragging mess of dirt
… scarified and harrowed …
… heavy footed and uncertain…
toward the promise of morning.

At the edge
perhaps a soul might dare
face the reaching shapes of mallee
and enter in
and then find courage
to climb and slide
the uncertainty of the sand-hill
hemmed in by sticks and webs
and wet, grasping, sharp things
as darkness seems to grow again.

On the final sandy struggle
lifted above the last dark hollow
such a soul
will hear the first waves
washing the deadness of fog away.
And at the crest
stand clear, clean, free-
facing the rising sun
reaching across the never frozen
ever alive sea.

The sea which always surges
with the restless energy of your Spirit.

And then, O God,
we could run on the beach
on the edge of eternity
and feel the son warming us, even to the marrow.
And follow the path of the son
back through the clean white
and sharp green of the sand-hills
through the listening mallee of the morning
and across the rich fertile soil of life
sown with your seed
swelling with new life
and reaching for the Sun.

Lord, bring the Light, and the Courage, and the Spirit to us.

Andrew Prior

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