Dave Smith

            Earlier as I drove, deep goldish-brown waves undulated across a field accenting sunrise.  Now as I park and leave the Ford, periwinklepinkishred splattered dawn plays along the horizon as if God tossed remnants of paints into a delightful waste against the grey.  Tree branched arms stretch adulation as leaves drip into dances with the cool breeze.  Not sure why I rose so early, I stand by the garbage can soon to be noisily emptied with a dieseled snort from John’s Disposal. “What ya doin’ Dave?” calls across the yard.  Surprised at this hour, I see Greg at his mailbox.

“Nothin’ much, just about to lean.”  We laugh “have a good one’s” and he moves inside with the morning Journal news.  Slowly the canvas fades as the clouds grow into full daylight.  I watch the blue, the few white clumps and a honking V of travelling geese.  Earlier, stirred by kitten’s plod up my snuggled tuck in bed body to the still open window, I joined her curiosity over the coyote howls in the ravine across the road next to Gordon’s house.  I told Nani, “They sound young – no worries yet,” but she payed little attention while clawing the screen.  Nah, I won’t go for a look.  Just nice breathing this air in this spot at this time.  Content to wait and, yes, do a little thinking.

Been a bit of troubled water this year for lots of us, for our country, and in the world.  Makes me wonder what God might be up to, as if that’s my business to know.  I think of some verses from Revelations and that power rising in the East – or was that Nostradamus?  I get confused as many, many soothsayers have doomsday ideas backed by such and such or so and so.  I recall a picture and quote on Facebook, a turbulent, white-capped sea covered with the words:

I asked God, “Why are you taking me through troubled Water?”

He replied, “Because your enemies can’t swim.”

I, we, have gotten through a lot.  I see the truth in the lines today.  I have used a lot of prayer and had so many Christian friends pray for me and for others – that’s our ability to swim.  We look to God the Father, His gift of grace in Jesus and the Spirit that lives in us.  A nice comforter against the wind.  On the wall of my bedroom I have stenciled, “Pray about everything, worry about nothing.”  Each day begins with a good thought.

I also recall a poem and chase the words down the paths of Safari and Google on my iPhone.  I find Wendell Berry and The Peace of Wild Things:

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief.  I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light.  For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

I turn to the door, a wave rolling inside me now, joined by periwinklepinkishred thanks for more time to enjoy God’s creation, more opportunity to be a heart changed.  The nest tucked in the iron eagle tacked above the door spills two arguing and fighting sparrows at my feet.  Oh, that gets my heart going, but they are young and mean no harm.  Just painted a few goosebumps into the stretch up the steps to go inside.