“And looking up to heaven, he sighed deeply and said, “Ephphatha, which means be opened.”” Mark 7:34

In the night hush, zephyr lingers
caressing the boy awake
sleepily, he peers through the invisible stained glass
longing to hear the hymn of the sea 
that echoes amidst the tree's canopy 

The tree aches to give what the boy must choose
wooden limbs cocoon the seed for the-one-not-yet-of-age
quietly, waiting in anticipation
for the boy's conception of painted hands
that reflect the hands that formed them

Seeds planted long ago with dirt fingernails
the gardener's hands fashioned the boy and wood 
from dust and dirt
the soul and earth's womb tenderly tilled in anticipation 
for the boy and tree's inception of his fruit

The weathered hands gently cup the two seeds
the-artist-of-every-creature softly breathes on them
sealing his longing with a signet kiss
the mist germinates the seeds, giving life to the boy and the tree
and the dew of ephphatha imprints home

The tree knows, he carries the weight 
of the-artist-who-formed-him from dirt
the roots ache with the knowledge
his limbs will be dragged to Golgotha
to bear the nails of the bloodied hands that gave him life

But the twofold promise of the tree also shadows the seed
of the boy's longing for the-one-he-longs-for
the father's exhaled promise for the boy
shelters in the tree
cradling the inhaled revelation of the artist's hands

Ring upon ring, the tree strengthens
fired sap coursing through its veins
giving sweet delight to those who remain still 
to hear the sound of the honey
and taste the tree's manna

Season after season, the tree inches to heaven
waiting for the-boy-who-longs-to-paint 
to see the tree carved by the carpenter with enough wood 
to carry both the father and the son, home

Zephyr curls off the water, 
collecting the boy's salted tears discarded along the shore
each sorrow gently placed in his sacred bottle
the tears mix with the son's fired blood
a holy water baptism compressed in each drop
of the father's mercy too deep to know

The tree stands sentinel, the appointed time has come
his limbs gently lift the boy, holding him near, to hear
heaven's roar of the sea
zephyr opens the ear to hear the painted-spit whisper: 

The son opens his hands
to receive the father's brush
who painted him with the same stick
that stirs the paint within him
the veiled canvas gently reveals vision, to see the three

The artist spills his painted blood
colour streams into the boy who receives
the very paint that turns the season of the tree into kairos
with a deep sigh, the boy inhales the artist's exhaled ephphatha
zephyr opens the boy's longing to paint home

With the imprint of his father's hands
line upon line he pours out the paint
the reservoir of colour overflows from deep within
with the father's stick, he paints each line
wooing him to the space, he stills

Borderland, the space between 
where longings meet
the father's waiting room 
where he quietly lingers 
with arms open

The sabbath space
the gift of borderland
where in communion with the son,  zephyr rests
as the father longingly waits for his son 
to paint his way home

While the son was a long way off, the father ran to his son, and threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8

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