This past weekend I visited one of my most favorite places. My destination had nothing to do with geography and everything to do with presence.
My dear friend’s presence.
This visit was filled with incredible moments. Nothing earth-shattering. Perhaps mundane for some. But now, I have some comprehension of how precious and brief these moments really are. This visit I understood how quickly time would fly. I went intending to savor and enjoy my time with my friend and her family.
Because of this intentional perspective, the moments, when reviewed, are stained glass glimmers and glimpses—of the essence of heaven.
A doe and two fawns.
Wary and nimble.
Out of their element
they raced through the backyard.
The youngest child saw them first,
and she squealed, lest we miss them.
For an elusive moment they were framed in the picture window.
We ran from window to window, door to door
Amazed to see something so out of place—
so unexpected and wild in the middle of domestication.
I stood in the hot sunshine and watched as fat bees hovered
and quarreled over the lavender blooms.
They pushed their furry heads deep in the elongated flowers.
Their wings glistened on their rounded backs.
They hummed and buzzed.
I wanted to pet them.
Stroke their striped backs like I do my Zoe-dog.
And I did.
I reached out my finger slowly.
I smoothed the bee’s head and back.
I did this more than once, and they let me.
Frilly and delicate.
Dew was still on the ground,
and two jewel-colored, iridescent birds
hovered like tiny aircraft.
Their long beaks drank deeply.
They never did alight, but held their bodies aloft.
I watched from the front door.
I knew my movements would cause them to flit away,
And I wanted them to stay.
Simple—no extra gadgets.
Eagerness welled up in me like a geyser.
Too many years had passed since I had been on a two-wheeler.
My daughter encouraged,
You should ride, Mom.
They say you don’t forget; you don’t.
I rode and was surprised my balance was still intact.
As I went around the court and down the long street,
I remembered how to lean.
No hand-brakes. I had to pedal backwards to slow and stop.
I was enthralled with the motion my own body created.
The atmosphere around me was surreal and stretched.
An outdoor performance.
Lawn chairs and a grass stage.
My daughter, the ballet mistress;
My friend’s granddaughter, the student.
A juiced-up I Love Lucy episode.
Remember when Lucy decides to be a prima ballerina?
This was funnier.
The skit—totally improvised.
Stomach in, bottom tucked.
Chin up. Neck long.
Pull knees up. Heels together.
We laughed until our sides hurt.
Eight of us gathered in the street.
And a precious, wonderful young boy—
confined to a wheelchair—schooled us all.
Sweet spots and failed jump shots.
Ribbing and teasing.
A great deal of smack talk.
But the boy’s shots were true.
His long arms snaked out and grabbed the ball.
Broad shoulders and long fingers sent it arching high.
Airborne before any of the rest of us reacted.
I wanted him to be able to stand,
and just for a moment to be like that ball—
free and unfettered.
Friends engaged eye to eye.
We know each other.
Twenty-one years of knowing.
This provides comfort and ease much
like a favorite pair of jeans or tennis shoes.
You know they are going to fit.
Through frequent wear they have adapted to our body.
Together we have created this garment of friendship.
Tears and laughter have been woven into the weft of the fabric.
We have tried to listen to what was spoken in the silence.
We have attended to each others lives.
Incredible stills of the essence of life.
Candid photos of the beauty and simplicity of reality.
Glimpses and glimmers of heaven.