cool of the morning, God in his garden

Andrea's flowersIt is the cool of a summer morning. Mid-July. My slippers are soaked from walking through dew-drenched grass to feed the birds, who now feast on the seed I poured them in Andrea’s backyard. A blue jay’s caw pierces the quiet like a razor. Birds flit over rooftops and light on the feeder. The sky is soft blue lightly streaked with clouds, the air moist and still. The still-rising sun catches the dew with glints in the green. Mourning doves coo in the near distance, singing their melancholy psalms. The birds eat busily. All is ready for … something.

An army of worries awaits me, couched in their fields of trouble, just now emerging from their tents and stretching their arms. They have plenty of work for me. I don’t acknowledge them yet. My mind wants to stay here in the cool summer morning, thinking about nothing but what I see and hear. Is there a way to live like this? Doubtful. Life will not have it. These are only interludes of peace afforded very early on a Sunday like this. God is in his garden pulling up weeds. I need only to be still with all of this, just now, because soon the day will pull out of the driveway and be on its way. I will go with it wherever it takes me. Only now, for a bit longer, will it allow me to just be here, with the birds and the dew and the melancholy psalms.

Here I am poised halfway through July, at the midpoint of the great long year. So much has happened and so much yet will happen. I don’t object to what has happened or contest what will. This too must just be as it is. I can’t stop the flow of events nor should I. I can only surrender to the will of life like a river pushing me along. I think I know what’s coming around the bend but at some point I’ll be surprised. I will direct the course the best I can, knowing I could be upended at any point.

But this belongs to the army of worries, already trying to pull me out of the moment. This sweet moment, this only now. As private as sleep. Who else is on his porch drinking in the new day with a cup of coffee? Who else is pulling weeds besides God, her face still fuzzy with dreams? How long before Andrea hits the road in Ann Arbor, leaving her sister from surgery and coming to me to continue on our way? “What new battle will this day bring?” So asks Marshall Crenshaw, who may already be at work on a new song. “Just this morning I felt like trouble’s play thing.” Because there will be trouble; that much we know. It’s just a question of what we do with it. Hopefully it will not capsize us.

But there is no trouble now. Only me, and the birds, and the dew, and the soft blue sky. Except there – an airplane in the southern sky, heading west. Who is on it? Where are they going? What new troubles will their day bring?

And now the birds burst away in a shock of flurried wings. Worship is almost over.

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