Pilgrimage - Elaine Wilburt

After praying before the gilded altar at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, she returned home to the Advent season and soon found she could not hold a pen to sign cards with her elegant flowing loops. For the first time, she sent no greetings. Struggling to eat, she explained to her grandkids that she needed a “Nana bib.” During that month, she fell three times in her apartment. Deteriorating vertebrae had silently, slowly narrowed the highway traveled by her spinal cord, threatening to close it altogether. I had suddenly become a caregiver. An MRI, a day-long surgery. A year of her nerves and muscles reconnecting. When the therapists asked her weekly to close her eyes and stand without support to assess her stability, I wondered, did she sometimes remember passing through the Door of Humility?

 

evening walk

layers of birch bark

peeling away

© 2019 Wales Haiku Journal