Ann Keiffer

Porch Light

In the great church of life,
three life-changing times,
I have chanced to glance
at some ordinary thing
and been awe-struck
to see the Holy–
and the Holy seeing me.
For just that one moment,
I disappear, swept up
in an ecstatic embrace,
in communion,
a miracle
without warning.
And then,
in an instant,
it ends…
After the ecstasy,
the days, months, years pass,
and with them come exile,
drift, emptiness, loneliness,
longing to know again
that intimate embrace,
that connection,
that communion.
But I cannot make it happen.
I am lost, bereft.

Then recently, a story intervened…

I read about a grandmother
who lived within sight
of Interstate-94 as it cuts
across North Dakota.
This elderly woman wrote
of the joy she found
in a simple ritual.
Every night she intentionally
turned on her porch light
and left it on until morning.
The porch light was her prayer–
that some lonely trucker
might see her porch light
from the highway and be
reminded that back home
someone waits for him,
someone cares.

And it came to me,
the exile, the emptiness,
the loneliness, the drift,
the longing I feel are a gift.
They are a porch light lit for me,
the light left on to remind me
that Someone waits for me,
Someone cares.

Ann L. Keiffer
January, 2016

Dedicated to Marv Hiles whose soul speaks to mine. Porch light story borrowed from An Almanac for the Soul: Anthology of Hope by Marv and Nancy Hiles

Image Credit: Barbara Furchner Photography


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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