Today a sound I rarely hear sends a shiver of excitement down my spine. It’s a chorus of genteel voices encouraging one another on their long journey north. I quickly look up. Directly overhead a large flock of snow geese casts a flighty flash of purest white against an unclouded azure sky. It’s a stunning sight.
Today a fresh scent fills the air as a bank of clouds rolls in from the west. I sit in the tire swing which hangs from the muscular arm of an old oak tree and watch the coming storm. In the distance, thunder rumbles low and long. An uncanny, and unexpected, flood of joy and relief washes over me and brings tears to my eyes. The peels of thunder break winter’s silent fetters that chained my soul. I face the wind, fresh and warm with mild overtones. It tugs at my mussed hair and pulls at my cotton shirt as it races past. I stretch out my arms, as I did when I was young, with a wish it could lift me from the ground and carry me above the trees.
Today a gentle snow falls. Large clusters of flakes tumble earthward, holding hands and dancing to a muted tune only they can hear. It must be warmer today. I put on my coat and take our little black cocker spaniel for a walk.
It is so quiet my crunchy footsteps resound irreverently across the snowy expanse. When I reach the hilltop, I stop. He dog stops too. A profound stillness envelops us. I strain to hear something… anything. There is nothing; not the rustle of crisp, brown oak leaves, not the cheerful call of the chickadees, not a whisper from the wind. My whole world pays silent homage to God. Cuddles looks at me, her head cocked inquisitively to one side.
Today is a glorious winter day. If you have an aversion to cold and snow, there is no such thing. But I was raised with the rhythm of the seasons. Each has its own beauty. Each is a unique revelation of God’s character. Each is a lesson book waiting to be read.
Today our friend Sam comes out for a visit. He’s a well-read man who’s knowledgeable about any number of subjects. The thing he likes best, besides reading, is shooting… targets, not living things. So today Sam brings targets, ammo and pistols with him. He wants to share his passion with our two daughters. His own daughter is grown and gone and I suppose Sam enjoys the pseudo-parental role he’s playing today.
Today the wind’s hollow whistle sounds cold and wintry. The pleasant chatter of overhead leaves has given way to the stale clatter of ashen branches, exposed and undone. A raspy ruckus rises from the field as the vast stand of sun-crisped corn stalks rubs shoulders. A menagerie of dry leaves skips and skids down the black-topped road, scuffing and scraping on their way to nowhere in particular.
Today is another atypically toasty day. A warm wind whisks away the typical fall chill. I throw my laptop and my Bible in the car and head for my favorite hideaway. Last time I was here, watching crayfish, a high summer sun baked the lichen-covered outcroppings and glinted off the deep green leaves. The wind spoke soothing words of long summer days to come. Today the sun rides low in the southern sky. Crisping leaves tell the story of impending cold, but their showy colors soften the blow. Continue reading Peak Colors
Today a blanket of gray-blue clouds slowly rolls east while the sun sinks on the western horizon. Diffused sunlight, my friend Larry calls it “God light,” pierces through the gray rain curtain and is diffused once again. We drive toward the rain, heading home from a long day, and watch the intermingling water and light paint a rainbow in the evening sky. It begins as only a partial arch, but gradually grows into a complete rainbow, a celestial overpass spanning the highway ahead.
Today I look forward to spending time with one of my old college roommates. We lost touch for several years but recently discovered we only live about an hour apart. So, she has invited the family to come and watch the fireworks from her back yard, right on the Fox River.
Today we celebrate our national independence, which is an excellent thing. I consider the sacrifices so many made to escape the tyranny of an earthly king and establish a free nation governed by elected officials “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” (Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address) I wonder (in a good way) at the wisdom of those who penned our constitution, framing laws that would ensure the freedom of generations to come.
Today a sultry breeze sifts southern comfort through my screen. It playfully pulls at loose curls. It softly caresses ticklish skin. It rouses me from sweet summer dreams of red-eyed loons exchanging eerie calls across pristine northern lakes. In my mind’s eye, I’m peeking out at Palette Lake through the door of my tent. Then, fully awake, I find myself in my own bed.
Outside my window, the white pines whisper a mysterious message to their nearest neighbors, the aspens. The aspens listen in silent anticipation, then quake with delight as they answer. Their clapping and laughter rings out loud and strong across the hills. The stand of red pines down the road must have gotten wind of what was going on. Haunting, hollow voices murmur among themselves, as if debating whether the words bear repeating. Then, quite suddenly, their voices lower to a velvet lull.