Umbrella girl

By Jane Booth

I’m frightened by the word wonderful. I clasp my parasol protecting me from the things in this world that are its opposite goodbyes, rainclouds, arithmetic, a cough that won’t go away and I think that if I never leave this spot of sacred ground then still I will have more than most. Sometimes this house is a stranger and sometimes it is a sanctuary, and I its steeple. The people around me and the spirits above me tell me that what is in front of me will be wonderful. A placeholder for what is unexplainable, unachievable, unfathomable. It may be anything but wonderful. Beneath the shade of my parasol I make room for the precious stillness to seep in below its towering steeple. God, or the gods, are leaving space in my life for me to fill in some worthy way, but may it be full of wandering instead of wonder.