Return to Dust (2020)

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Today is the 1st Sunday marked Lent…on our journey towards the Resurrection. Perhaps you are going through your usual spiritual gymnastics…perhaps you are searching for meaning, depth…something more than vain repetition or seasonal lists to be checked off. Perhaps you are just desiring God to break in and wreck your life new. But before new life comes to us, on the path we travel, there is the unavoidable collision with mortality. There is the question of life, death and life hereafter, this holy wrestling that each of us must grapple with, resolve and ultimately accept. Jim Morrison said it simply, “No one here gets out alive.”

How does that strike you? Today I am sharing a poem I wrote in 2013. It’s called Return to Dust and as I continue to consider my own mortality in light of eternity, I find myself returning to this poem. I have written a great many poems about death, it’s a topic I return to again and again.

The one who faced the enemy in the desert, faced his destiny on the cross, so we who follow Him, would be free to live now and forever fearlessly. (Matthew 4:1-11; 20:17-19; Romans 3:25; Galatians 5:1)

“Where, O death, is your victory?

    Where, O death, is your sting?”

1 Corinthians 15:55

Today I offer you a few options to springboard journal from as you feel led. Whether the scriptures, the quotes or the poem I share, look for the question between the lines- the thought that stirs you…then take it to the Lord in prayer with your pen. AND please, allow yourself the freedom to intermittently write and speak to God as seems comfortable. I shift back and forth without thinking about it much.

Before I became a Christian, death was something like a distant thunder looming in the background of my life. What I have come to understand as a believer has changed my perspective, and age has its own way of reminding me that my days are fewer than before…but the beauty of eternity with the One who died for me, continues to broaden my perception. The path ahead is bigger, brighter, more beautiful, beyond what I can see. But there is the challenge of what I can see right now.

The distant thunder of my past may now be may be a beautiful destination on the horizon, but the path I travel…we all travel, will be marked with pain and suffering. I am not sure what it will look like for you, and you may not know what it has or will look like for me, or when , where and how it will be but we can see Jesus…and we can know He will lead us faithfully all the way through whatever it will be.

The poem I wrote came to me with a repeating line and a rhythm. See if how it reads for you. In this revised version I have adjusted with additional lines, which was quite unplanned. You can see the original version here, if you are interested.

“While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.” Leonardo da Vinci

Return to Dust

I will become earth, return to the dust.

I will become earth, return to the dust.
The earth at least, I can trust.
A wind will come to blow the dust
away from the earth- to soar I must.

I will become earth, return to the dust.
At last I will fly, unseen, to the sky,
carried higher and higher,
beyond the mind’s eye.

At last, I will be truly free
from wounds inflicted bodily,
mentally, emotionally.

Free from the earth, land and sea,
walking on shores of immortality.
forever to live eternally.

At last I will be truly free,
return to the dust-obscurity.
the earth again, I must be

At last I will be truly free.

“The great thing to remember is that though our feelings come and go God’s love for us does not.” C.S. Lewis

This is the second post in the Lent series. All posts available as they are published here.

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is a life enthusiast who loves to juggle words, chug coffee, and journal excessively. You can find her gathering stones on the beach most mornings. She enjoys hanging out with her hubby, daughter and family pets in Narragansett, RI and shares her passion, poetry and prose @Enthusiastically, Dawn.

3 thoughts on “Return to Dust (2020)

  1. Thanks for sharing this poem again, Dawn! I like how you reworked it. Our family laid my husband’s Uncle Jim to rest on Ash Wednesday…his homecoming.

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    1. Lynn I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you for reading! I know you understand reworking words. I’m trying to apply what I’ve learned the past few years. I’m still not sure anything is ever finished 100 %. I always seem to see changes and more possibilities .

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