Early Idea

Dave Smith

Rain in big, steady, unhurried cascade drowsily splunkers onto the shingles, slushes down the roof’s pitch into the gutters.  In clinking waterfall, it crattles down the spout out onto the staunchly green slope of November 28 grass.  Early, really early, like 4 AM or so I guess.  The tangles of sleepless night and the sandpaper licks of Tabby Taz gently rasping my nose urge my roll from bed.  No, why turn on a light and dispel the orchestrations of the dark, the steady drum above and the figure 8, furry brush of both cats entwining my feet.  I grope for the robe, tug it on, and per Murphy’s Law of “no I didn’t turn on a light”, stub a toe or two on whatever lies on the 1970’s, orange-ugly shag called carpet that hides who knows I can’t think about what lurks in its tendrils.  Sneaks of light guide me down the stairs, to the dining room and to the patio doors.  The deck and the tympanic drum of the rain entice.  I go out.

Yes, this perhaps a not-so-much good plan, provides insight into November rain.  Those quickly dripping droplets down my forehead, down my back bring recognition that the upper atmospheres just might be quite cold despite the likely 40˚temperature lingering through the wet down here.  I do look up to enjoy the splats and breathe thanks that likely no one else witnesses this musing moment of mine.  The overhang provides cover and from underneath I will watch the day come. For now, only the rain plays.  Instruments of wind rest, deep shadows in listlessly calm arms of the trees.  Poetic lines used to accompany these times, lyrics to capture the rhythms and movements slowly creating a figure 8, word painted brush entwining the wilderness of my thinks.  I have learned to take whatever comes, whatever stubs these Murphy toes of imagination when the Spirit says, “Pay attention.”

I enjoy early today, enjoy this little dry space and the rebound dancing droplets on my feet.  The blue tarp over the patio necessities of summer life generates a more hip-hopish, jazzy, what I’d call annoying tempo, but teen daughters ‘learned’ me long ago to find the ‘teach’ in all sounds, find the words in the odd nooks and crannies God offers.  I poke a hand into the rain for farewell, go in to the table top tablet keyboard and let the finger taps-backspace-correct-space-faster-faster-oh that’s a word-method of my madness take charge.  Kitties quickly scrabble and scratch to the platforms of the climbing post and watch.  Taz and Nani seem to know breakfast will follow and these moments require their patience.  Their purrrrs and curls of attention add to these times though I have not figured out just what that might be.  Comfort perhaps.  Companionship.  Animal giggles and an in their minds’ curiosity about this strange activity in the wee hours.  Connection-the transitive verbs that lead to predicates of thought, cacophonies and euphonies of emotions transcribed to pages.  A different kind of God’s touch each day.  An oil-based or acrylic artist might find his or her mood on this canvas becoming grey dawn.  I enjoyed that medium too, but not as much as the brush of words.

This morning I think I just had a pause, not inspiration or epiphany.  A lot of blessing has rained upon my years.  Riches have come and gone, new life and too soon death have joined my travels.  For a very long time I tried to live the lyric sung by Frank Sinatra.  Played the song countless times to buttress my strides.  “I did it my way!”  Yea, God gives that thing called free will, that thing that generates a lot of human choices that need God’s freely given grace.  I’ve been looking backwards quite a bit lately.  Those back there places beckon – but offer no place to live.  Good to visit, good to use for wiser choices, good to recognize what I never deserved but God gave anyway.  I shiver a little, a lonesome droplet slipping from my mostly greyish-white hair and down my cheek.  It joins another, one of unknown origin.  I lean back, fold my arms.  Change this?  Edit that?  Let it be?  Such goes writing.  Steady, unhurried cascades drowsily splunkerking across the keys into collections on a white canvas.  A clinking waterfall.