Saturday, December 13, 2014

December morning

 
 
The phone rang early -- pancakes were on next door, would the children like to come for breakfast? Fog dripped liquid from trees as they pulled on boots with pajamas. I joined them when my coffee cup was empty, and when I walked in to my parents' home, my heart was full. 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 It was a perfect December morning.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Art

 
Our evenings tend to be quiet, but when an invitation arrived for the showing of a dear friend's artwork, we trekked out into this sunset...the sky one of God's loveliest canvases. 
 
  
Mandolin music led us into the gallery, and I counted hats and held tightly to small hands as we made our way through the crowd to find the unassuming soul whose hands had shaped lives and now held a fine tipped brush. Her canvases are silvery bark and found feathers, and the tiny scenes are familiar ones -- a patient heron, a house tucked into quiet trees.

 
We found her, shy in the bustle, and she hugged us close with those beautiful, gifted hands.
 

 
The children admired sculpture and silly cards and hand-crafted jewelry before we walked out into the night to an event centered on Nutcracker-themed art. Tchaikovsky's familiar strains sent dancers onto the sidewalk, twirling. Another lovely friend was found, this one making art with her pointe shoes and grace.  

 
 
That evening we saw truth in the words of Philip James Bailey,
"Art is man's nature; nature is God's art."



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Faithfulness

Under a tall steeple on a sun-kissed summer afternoon, we watched a young groom, smiling through tears, join hands with his bride. We listened to their promises to share a lifetime, grateful for the reminder of our own vows and the gift of fresh chapters and love new.

 
Today, the steeple was framed against a dark autumn sky, and we ducked into the church under a wet umbrella, dressed in black. The groom who greeted us was white-haired, and although his words of welcome were gracious, his smile, too, was streaked with tears. We were gathered to close a chapter,  look back on the life of his bride with whom he had shared 62 years.

Rain streaked the arched windows, and the young couple whose summer wedding we had witnessed from those same pews now sat behind us, fingers-interwoven. We sang "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Amazing Grace," and we cried and laughed, both, as memories of this beautiful woman were shared.  But another thread was woven through this service of remembrance of her life, and it was the beauty of marriage...her life shared. This lovely soul's final years were difficult ones, yet her husband's tenderness and faithfulness were recounted again and again by those in that sanctuary.

After the Lord's Prayer, we gathered around tables set with the last of autumn's flowers, dahlias rescued from the rain. We shared stories and a meal, marveling at the privilege of gathering to remember a life well lived and the beauty of steadfast love. As we walked out into the storm afterwards, I thought back to that summer wedding so full of hope and new promises. What a gift it was to us to be reminded today that, by God's grace, the last chapter of a marriage can be as beautiful as the first.