Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dog Days

Yesterday began with an ordinary morning.

I did several chores, a few errands and then carried my books and drink to the yard. I called for the dogs to join me. They know the word out. If we don’t want them to go spastic we have to spell the word.

We spent part of the morning and early afternoon outside. We couldn’t stand being inside with walls and only window holes for the light to break through.

The sun was fierce. I could feel it touch and wrap around my arms and shoulders and face. Later my skin was pink, my shoulders were red because of how long I sat and allowed the blinding orb to kiss me.

There was a faint breeze—just enough to flutter the tops of the trees, but not enough to wave the grass. It was one of Kentucky’s hot, heavy August days. Humidity caused a haze. Butterflies floated. Birds sat very still in the trees. My dogs meandered lazily.

I called the dogs when I got settled. They surrounded me. They knew I had a treat—leftover chicken from making chicken salad and enchiladas earlier. They were eager like seagulls on the beach when you get rid of leftover bait. Birds hover; dogs circle. They know the drill. Henry, the youngest, sits first. Eyes eager, keen but gentle. Zoe waits until I give the command and then sits slowly; her gaze fixed on my face. Molly, the oldest, waits until my command is sharp. She knows I will be more lenient with her, and she takes advantage.

As I settled down to read and study, the dogs went to find places in the shade. They lowered their bodies slowly to the ground. Tongues lolled. They panted rapidly. Their ears were at half-mast. Molly rested under my chair, Zoe sprawled very close by, and Henry (who can’t be still for very long) nuzzled my hand with his damp nose.

The ground was dappled with shade and small green apples. I studied the branches of the tree; they were bent to the ground with the weight of the fruit.

Just an ordinary day.

I sat in a lawn chair in my yard—overgrown and gone toward wild. I have neglected its care for lack of time and knowledge.

Then the wind swept through. An unexpected, quick breeze came cooling the sheen of moisture on my neck and forehead. It lifted the pages of my notebook.

Wind blows where it will. We don’t know when or where. It is not ours to command.

Without warning tears rolled down my face. This startled me. Usually I know when I am going to cry. There are at least ten tell-tale signs. Not then. Tears mingled with the salty sweat, and I became the ocean I love so well.

Prayer escalated in my heart—there was no premeditation, no forethought. There had been no intention for my soul to rise to prayer, and yet it did.

It winged out on the wind.

Words and thoughts I didn’t even know I had been considering rose—lifted by the beauty and the utter simplicity of being outside on a summer day.

I remembered the grace of God. My God remembered me. (To remember in Scripture is far more than simple recall. Another post for another day.)

I didn’t understand the tumult and intensity of emotion I felt. It was bigger than me and came unbidden, but certainly not unwelcome.

And the Wind swept over and around me. I did not move from my chair, but my spirit did.

The Spirit moves and blows where the Spirit wills. Yesterday, the Spirit blew through my yard and danced joyfully around my inhibited soul and caught me off guard.

And my dog day of summer became anything and everything BUT ordinary.

2 comments:

elmogus said...

Sometimes our most profound moments come when we cease to look for them. I'm happy for you, I know this was a gift for your soul. Love,Jen

Mac Goddard said...

Yes, He found you in one of your unexpected moments; an incredible God, indeed!