Comfort

Dave Smith

A wave of breeze eases through the window above my bed, rustles curtains like small, pre-tide wrinkles on a calm sea.  Splatters of rain screen through, become misty chills on welcoming arms.  Kitty Taz nestles into my side, mmrrreows a “Pull up the covers” lick on my forearm.  I reach for the blanket and he circles anticipation, settles into his catcoil fur ball tickling against me.  Sister Nani, the Calico, plops her end of jump onto my legs and begins the curling claws dig for a nest on the snow owl throw covering my feet.  Windows open or closed, rain or shine, snow or sleet, this routine kick starts my day.  Little variations bring curiosity and generally mean destruction somewhere downstairs, like the used to be nice curtains in the dining area or the unpotted plant – chewn and strewn – that I cultivated since dad’s funeral in February of ’88.  I think dad “tsk’d” that event.  This is a good, damp morning bringing all the harbingers of spring in full swing.  Grey winds’ bursts cannot dispel greening delight, a slight rustle of new-burst leaves and the carried fresh of tulips, hydrangea, lilies, and daffodils.  Yep, chilly to be sure, but green and growing – life in the neighborhood.

In the warm days recently passed, I saw Gordon on his mile or so walk and Greg with his two rescue labs making his trek around the block.  Kerry, recovering from some late winter surgery, appears as does Lisa – and that special Lilly who ever so cheerfully brings special laughs to all of us.  Micah was ordained at Orchard Hill and, in my visit there before Easter, I enjoyed Megan’s worship leadership with voice and keyboard.  Jenny, whose name always escapes me and has become a regular “do you remember my name?” greeting when we cross paths, waves her way to work in the WalMart vision center.  The beat up, rusty, tailgate propped up antiquity of a red pickup means Tim is afoot and means Gordon, in passing, will add condemnations of such a vehicle being parked by these yards.  Sonja, too, will pull into the driveway and add pleasantry to the day, a quick conversation that has solidified my short sojourn on McDivitt Lane.  The routine of summer, with little variation, on which I rely for moving along my life journey.  Slight variations bring a sadness as Ruby no longer tosses her sassiness into the humor of the ties these families hold.  Dustin purchased a home and promises visits.  New residents bring opportunity and I have taken an outstretched hand to each and found warm chat and new history.

My home quiets to the click of keyboard as the curtains sway to the rhythm of my thinks.  They bluster and billow, then droop to the easy to-and-fro, like the roll of tide sloshing onto the shell strewn beach, then gently easing back leaving pocks of sucking sand, new debris, and the surety of another swell.  Taz decides to nibble my ear – he’s ready for a meal.  Nani lies lost to this world, her twitches telling dreams in the land she visits.  Daughter Rosie’s surprise visit ended yesterday and her room sits emptily quiet as well.  Here and gone in the blurry hurry of 21 and “schools out for summer!”  A long held farewell hug clings to my thoughts and her waving, called “Love you papa!” from a departing window puffs and billows away a curtain wanting to shadow my heart.  I was supposed to go up home to a family funeral yesterday. Grandma Ramminger, brother Ron’s in-law, had passed after 100 years of richly blessed life.  I wanted to support him as he loved this matriarch, mother of his first wife who passed far too young from the viciousness of cancer and all its unknowns back in those days.  But I stayed here for Rosie and joined Ron in prayer and think.  Variations.

The flag on the front of the house slaps and stirs me from reverie.  Far past time to roll out and roll on.  Kitties sense the move, jump and scramble, ready to entwine my legs and challenge the walk downstairs.  Every day.  A morning prayer accompanies the get up and go time.  I have comfort here, comfort in knowing I have Him in the sameness, have Him in the changes.  I have blessing and grace just in waking up to live a new day – and I am thankful.  No guilts, no frets about once was or should have, just peace in knowing Jesus loves me. The Holy Spirit joins the dance of curtains on this spring day.