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"A thousand things went right today."

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Good Things

   My older neighbor next door lives alone but neighbors check in on her when her out-of-town and out-of state children are not with her. She is a delightful lady nearing the century mark, one who enjoys good food.  She enjoys chocolate. She enjoys chocolate a lot. She buys the really good gourmet chocolate, each beautifully wrapped in expensive foil.

   She also enjoys crossword puzzles and can beat the socks off the former English teacher and newspaper writer (the writer of this blog) who brings her plebian food such as chicken casserole or pound cake.

      We've been neighbors for several decades. She likes to eat and I like to cook, so I take dishes (containing  food, of course) to her often. My neighbor, Mrs. B. sits every morning at her antique kitchen table where she quickly works the daily crossword puzzle or reads the newspaper or her daily devotional

   From front door to kitchen is the shortest route to join Mrs. B, a route that forces one (if she is polite) to look at the family pictures above the antique sideboard and then to glance down (of course) at the candy jar next to the kitchen door. There is the coveted vessel, the golden grail, the honey pot of delight wherein rests chocolate, chocolate wrapped in red or purple or silver or gold foil, each color foil indicating the flavor of deliciousness within.

    This blogger and possibly other neighbors know that Mrs. B. knows that we know where the chocolate is. "Have a piece of candy when you go," she says.
We do.
    Ahhhh.  Hmmmm.  What might I take to her tomorrow?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Call of the Wild Goose

        The so pleasant and nostalgic sound of the wild goose's calls this January morning made me look out the kitchen window then quickly go out the back door. I followed the sound and looked up.

     The sun not long risen was casting long shadows of bare limbs of the pecan and walnut trees, up and over the wooden back yard fence. And the geese! Oh, surely many thousands of them: determined, flying south in myriad separate  V-shaped formations, one hearty goose leading, the others, honking, flying in near perfect formation.Stragglers behind the primary group seemed to double their efforts to keep up with or even pass slower, perhaps tiring birds. The words unknowably vast came to mind.

     I shaded my eyes as the sun transformed those fluttering wings into brilliant silver flashes; crisp winter air transformed gentle hoarse honking into nostalgic memories of my sons' hunting days. That sight and that sound also gave to me this early morning a calm knowing that seemed to whisper "It's okay. All is okay."

     Then the thought gift came unbidden to my mind. That seems to be the way with God's gifts: they so often come unbidden. Even when we don't yet recognize our need for a gentle reminder, a reminder comes.  So, yes it is okay. All is okay.  Does not the sun shine through through the bare trees? Do not the geese know their way? Are not the best gifts often  free?

     i must remember that quiet message this day. All is well.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Here There Be Monsters

            Metaphorically speaking, the sun does not shine every day. 

         Some days, and nights as well,  are dark and bleak and stone cold frozen. Even when in Spring when there are dancing  shadows from the sun overhead, metaphorically speaking still, the world seems so dismally frightening.  "Here there be monsters" the mapmakers of centuries ago inscribed over uncharted areas of oceans.

         So when does the woman of faith do to dispel the darkness with its monsters? What does she do when prayer seems to fall on deaf ears and God seems to be hiding, when meaness seems ready to pounce again at the next corner?  What does she do when life as she knows it seems fragile?

         She does the best she can. She takes another step, then puts one foot in front of the other and next foot in front, and the next and the next.  She carries on as women do when those she loves are threatened.

            And she prays. "God of Light, guide my faltering feet."