I studied the sky, looked for lines that held clouds against the backstage, dark to light blue hues of horizon curtains. Floodlights of sun rayed through these gossamer props and streaked shadows through the footlights of colored fall fantasy. The hardwoods and pines, actors and actresses awaiting motioned moments, reached, swayed, or drooped arms in harmony with fanned, cooling breezes. The stage seemed to undulate, shadows to bright light, calm to leafed twirls and whirls swirled into hollows. A theater in the round performance, a magnitude of seasonal majesty perhaps hoping for a sellout audience, but happy to have just one, one that noticed. Shakespeare’s Globe, with its three-story “stage” and penny present audiences and with its trap doors for raising spirits such as Hamlet’s father, could not have offered a finer theater for these middle scenes of God’s four-act play of seasons.
Metaphors, or phives, continued to pop. A train, an oil-car tracked line of clanking, wheezing, rappity-tap and never-ending interruption, displaced concentration. Faint sirens bled insistent urgency to wrap it up, get out of the way – a new play opening, perhaps a tragedy. Red blinked from halogen lights on the roofline of a bus dropping new performers onto curbside entries. Stage left, stage right – saw this, saw that – all head-twistingly called for the Oscar attention of a moment in the sun.
Short, easy-breathed walk to the house, to keyboard, to look above the desk at the artwork of copper sun halved by two polished clouds, each ray a metal, symmetrical spike holding 12 in-flight gulls in various arrangement and in a play of imagined chase. A red blink backlit the board; soon fingered rappity-tap brought concentration of inspiration and mused moments bulged into cordless hangs of think.
An incredible, gloriously spectacular, into full color bloom erupted into this time, a time of fading to browns, to barren limbs, to harbingers of freeze – snow and ice soon arrive. I have been reading Rob Bell’s thoughts in What is the Bible and, though we stood apart on many items, I agreed with one, with the “bigger picture” concept he professed. I looked at this thing called seasons and looked for connections, a larger concept. Beauty in a time of dying, embittered cold and drifted snow surrounding the birth of Christ, new year drudged by below zero consistency, ever-present, deep longing for Easter birthed spring and new life, and the cycled growth of warmed days wrapping a graced peace waiting for – fall. Death brought difficulty to all of us at some point, at too many points, at sudden points. Through our faith, we know the bleakness assuaged by Christ’s birth and the Promise He brought, a promise fulfilled. We got through the bitter cold freeze of emotion, of clinging to hope. Then came Easter, new life, rich beginnings anew and blossomed in a heavenly peace, in the greening, growing time of assurance in grace and grandeur. And the cycle continued.
Yes, in nature, God’s nature, I found reflections of His greater play. His Bible is complete truth, literal and literary truth. Accepted long ago for me, this cornerstone has held performance after performance, think after think and act and scene after act and scene ‘til Shakespeare’s “last syllable of recorded time.” Seasoned by God all around me, by Christ’s sacrifice, and by a Holy Spirit that comes “up, down, inside, out,” I ended my papered brain purge, clicked save, and moved back outside.
submitted by Dave Smith