Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

“Waiting (Wind of Change),” a poem by Janet Grace Riehl

In just a few days I'm making a huge move in my life and where I live. I'll be moving from Lake County in Northern California to St. Louis, Missouri where I'll just be an hour away from my father. Pop, 91, lives just across the river in SW Illinois, about 6 miles upriver from Alton, on the bluffs above the Mississippi River. I'll be able to visit him every week, and still have a space of my own. My room is still there in his house for when I come to visit him.

I wrote this poem, "Waiting (Wind of Change)" last spring...knowing something was coming, something good, but I didn't know what. Here it is now, right upon me, and the poem becomes teacher, friend, and voice of how I feel: openness and possibility...yet, vulnerable. I must remember that I am supported by Spirit. --JGR


The wind comes up and blows the house down,
blows the house down, blows the house down.

But, when I look around, I cannot see the house.
I cannot see the timbers that supported the house.
I cannot see the joists that bound the timbers.
I can only see the doors.

The doors open onto the space where the house was.
I open the front door, heavy with carving of curled vines.
I open and walk through that door.

The wind blows through with me,
dusting away my footprints so tidily, like a French maid.

I walk to the library door and open its light maple panels.
Stride to the place where the shelves were and take out a phantom book to read.
It’s title imprinted in disappearing ink.

The winding air moves through the house to the stairway up to my old room.
I open its white door with black enamel handle
and sit down in a wispy rocker of breeze.

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2 Responses »

  1. Yes, the doors! It's the doors to focus on during the times of change nd moving. Everthing else may fall away, but if you can walk through the doors, then you'll be fine, Janet. Good luck in all that you are doing and your new home that you are going to.

  2. Janet,
    A warm wish of welcome to you in your new home. A big change! Isn't it interesting how our creative side seems to know things before 'we' do? The house was gone, but doors were still there. I love how you described the doors...and that they always opened for you, too.

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