Transition Stress

Sometimes I run across a poem written ages ago that somehow applies to the Now, or I want to share some thoughts that came to me while meditating on Scripture this morning. Sometimes I just want to share the joy that unexpectedly came my way. If you would like to walk this journey with me, I welcome you!

Right now I continue to face “transition stress,” the challenge of discovering how to enter a new phase of life. We retired last year, remaining involved in the ongoing work back “home” in Nyarafololand while learning to move forward here in Detroit. One thing I miss is my Sacred Grove, the part of my courtyard over there where I spent a few hours almost every Saturday morning, practicing the discipline of solitude and silence, learning to listen to my Lord rather than always blabbing at him. I sat under golden rain trees, some so old their trunks broke when high winds came through, some of them the burgeoning row of children spurting up from parental roots underneath. The trees lost their leaves in dry season, November to January, then — before the rains began in March or April — would burst into clusters of hanging golden blossoms in February. That would become a carpet of gold all around as the petals fell and were replaced by green leaves. This became a picture of life as a missionary in many ways, for me. For one thing, these trees blossomed when everything around was still dry and brown, because their roots reached down deep to underground streams. We also needed to be sure to remain deeply rooted in the source of Life and Joy, our Lord, even when times were hard and we were moving forward in lonely spaces.

Here is a poem written during one of my last seasons in the Sacred Grove, as retirement drew near. It represents the current moment too, as we enter 2021:

Moving On (Linnea Boese 4/1/2018)

Green leaves take over
as golden rain
begins to peter out.
The last mangoes seem
all too much in a hurry
to cover the ground
becoming wine
before they melt into earth,
and the season moves on
as flowers give way
to liquid showers,
quickly absorbed
into thirsty soil.

This paints the contours
of my current phase
of life and work
as so many things seem to be
dropping off
or jerking suddenly
into different colors,
ripening or rotting,
losses bringing grief
as well as hope
for new perspectives.

Transition stress
is the invisible thread
of yellow to green,
of orange to brown,
of heavenly blues
going gray with blessing
that pounds my soul
but drenches me
with just enough energy
to look up as well as down,
to look ahead
while carefully living
this moment.

Published by Linnea Boese

After spending most of my life in Africa, as the child of missionaries then in missions with my husband, I am now retired and free to use my time to write! I am working on publishing poetry and on writing an autobiography. There have been many adventures, challenges and wonderful blessings along the way -- lots to share!

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