Like a domino effect, the God Winks started innocently enough Saturday evening when Bill Dingle, my brother-in-law, texted me to say that his oldest daughter, Emma, a freshman at Western Carolina, was browsing in a crafts shop (Tunnel Mountain Crafts) in Dillsboro, North Carolina and discovered something unexpectedly.
My niece stumbled across Honey’s “Mountain Mangers” (pottery) and beside the figurines was a poem I wrote in 2010 explaining the mystery behind the art work…simply called “Mountain Manger.”
My niece took some photos and showed her dad when she got home. Bill promptly texted with this message:
“Your poetry is in a shop in Dillsboro, NC. Emma was excited to see this. Hope all is well. We love you and miss you. We mention your name most nights when we pray with the children. Merry Christmas!
Bill then sent this photo Emma took inside the shop:
I immediately called Honey and told her she wasn’t going to believe what happened. We had just been talking about the “mountain mangers” (when Honey came over for our gift exchange) and wondering just how long ago it was when she made the “mysterious” figurines for the first time. (When I initially heard her story behind the creation of this art work I was so mesmerized I immediately sat down and wrote a poem to accompany the “manger” …telling the story behind the story.)
*Honey holding the original framed (with painted graphics) poem at her shop in her mountain home.
I wanted buyers to know the mysterious story behind the special artistic endeavor Honey experienced .
*When I went back through my blog posts yesterday…I had done an “update” on these manger scenes in 2014 as a follow-up to the original story in 2010. The creation is almost ten years old!
Here is an excerpt from the 2014 remembrance of the story.
...”It is time to stop and step back in time to help our new readers catch up with some of the “benchmark” stories that have taken us to where we are today.
I have decided to start with the Christmas seasonal “Mountain Mangers” story. Honey attends workshops on pottery constantly to learn new ways to sculpt and mold. From out of one of these workshops she learned how to take some clay and mold Joseph, Mary, and Jesus… all from one piece.
The original “Mountain Mangers” were large and Honey decided to make hers miniatures. She then gave them the name “Mountain Mangers” because the heads of Joseph and Mary look like silhouettes of mountain tops from a distance.
Honey began practicing and practicing…but for some inexplicable reason…after she molded Joseph, then Mary- using her thumb to make their faces – and left them by the kiln to dry…she recognized a strange pattern developing.
As she formed the clay figurines…Joseph and Mary were ramrod straight…gazing off into the distance. But every time she returned to check on them before placing them in the kiln)…Joseph and Mary were bent over…staring down at the Christ Child. It continued to happen over and over.”
At first Honey was simply puzzled…looking at it as a sculptural design mistake. Finally, however, it dawned on her what was really happening…she now saw the “problem” through different eyes…not a mistake…but a blessing!
(Joseph and Mary would not have been looking outward…but downward at the Son of God…the Savior of mankind.)
I had chills when she first told me the inexplicable phenomenon behind the artistic creation of the “mountain mangers.” In fact I was so moved…I sat down and wrote a poem about the incident…in five minutes. I later told Honey I have never written a poem that quickly…without having to revise it…
*From Emma’s photo of the poem….(Thanks Emma…. You saved me time from having to re-type it :)…here it is.
So until tomorrow…Now you have it!…There are Christmas God Winks out there that take every day mysteries and turns them into inspirational, awe-inspiring signs of God’s presence in our lives…especially nearing His Son’s birthday!
***Today contains another special birthday…for “Kringle Dingle”, Walsh, my oldest son and Pap…one of my “Dingle sisters”…Pap and Walsh share the same birthday…December 23!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So many memories associated with Walsh’s birthday and returning home Christmas Day…I have never had another special gift quite like this one on Christmas Day! Lots of craziness but then again..that is Walshiness…he makes the world smile.
Happy Birthday Walsh and Pap! A thought for you on this special day.
Blessed be the mind that dreamed the day
The blueprint of your life
Would begin to glow on earth,
Illuminating all the faces and voices
That would arrive to invite
Your soul to growth. (John O’Donohue)
Aunt Pap and one-year-old Walsh on the sofa with me and mother.
How could it not be my favorite day with these two birthdays on it?
Happy Birthday Walsh and Pap!!!!
* Planning ahead…I texted Honey to ask if readers were interested in purchasing the mountain mangers…how would they go about doing it? She replied:
…“They can contact me by email after December 30. They are still $9.00 plus shipping ” *(Honey was going to check and see if she had any left at her home in Summerville and let me know.)
*Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. She welcomes direct communication with her and will get back with you as quickly as possible.