Monday, October 09, 2006


Somewhere in the distance an old hoot owl is standing guard, his pale yellow eyes searching the darkness, his voice punctuating the soft summer night. Crickets are chirping in the undergrowth, and the bullfrogs are chiming in from across the pond. As if to answer, the trees rattle in the evening wind, and I shiver as I feel the night settling in. Another day has passed. Another sun has set.

I feel the cool dirt beneath my bare feet as I help the cedar swing along, it’s rusty chains creak out a rhythm to the symphony that surrounds me--that sweet soothing serenade of the night. The stars all sit and wink from above a few scattered clouds as the moon makes jewels of the crystal dewdrops on the grass.

My spaniel Maggie lies at my feet and licks her paws and pants. She smells something--a squirrel or rabbit and runs full speed across the drive, her nails clicking on the concrete. Her bark is quick and sharp and not at all afraid. A neighbor’s Labrador joins her in the pursuit, and the opera turns to a wild cacophony of yaps, growls, and snarls. The object of their disgruntlement harbored safely in a nearby tree looks down with beady eyes. Disinterested now, Maggie runs to me and licks my hand.

“Good girl,” I whisper. “Now settle down. Stay with Mama for awhile.”
A flash of light startles me as a brief flicker of lighting begins in a purple cloud above. The wind is picking up speed. A low rumble in the distance. Another streak of startling light, and then a fierce deafening clap of thunder causes me to jerk and Maggie to whimper. A drop of rain hits the awning over the swing, and then another, bouncing off the awning with muffled splats. A brief pause of silence ensues, and then a torrential downpour begins--drenching the dirt beneath my feet, soaking my pants legs, blowing the awning up and away. This is God meeting the needs of the thirsty soil. This is God watering his garden in the cool of the evening, blessing his handiwork--causing it to grow and flourish.

Eventually the brief storm abates, and the cadence slows to a steady , almost reverent rain. The earth soaks up the life-giving water. Maggie drinks from a nearby puddle as she shakes the droplets from her coat. I shake my soggy head in reply and laugh the laugh of a naughty child who has been dancing barefoot in the rain. These are the sounds of God. All of creation is His orchestra, and I am the awed and honored guest of this, His ever-changing, ever-beautiful, ever-so-holy masterpiece called life. Another day has passed. Another sun has set. And I am forever grateful to be one of the instruments of His will.


C. H. Green said...

Okay, so I don't have a cedar swing. But I do have hoot owls at night. I guess it's wishful thinking. My mom had one that I loved to sit in and relax. Maybe I'll get one someday. I wrote this entry for The weekly challenge at It didn't win. But I enjoyed writing it.

Praying for your Prodigal said...

This one's a keeper! What a stunning picture you painted!

It's a winner in my eyes!


Gretchen Lavender said...

Oh now I really loved this. You write very well.

tam said...

aw! You had me...hook line and had me that it was you and you experienced that very moment...

oh so good...there needs to be a series of these...written as if sharing a journey like this one is...but several of them put into a book...