I've not been around for awhile...my body decides to tank every once in awhile, and then God calms everything down for a bit. So I'm back from a recent calming, and enjoying just being here.
Autumn is showing signs of moving on in here in the desert. Not fully yet, but hinting at it.
I love this time of year. At sundown the thermometer sinks below the 100 mark, making the out-of-doors area a pleasant place to be. The sunsets are phenomenal, as if God were finger-painting in wild abandon. The clouds seem iridescent as their gray-feet blush pink. The hummingbirds take one last lingering sip and retire for the evening.
And then the bats come out to play.
At first they seem like just tinier birds - but no bird can stop on a dime and do a 180 to catch a moth who wandered into the wrong bit of air. They whirl and swirl and stop your breath with their acrobatics - I find myself whispering a "Yay!!" to the wheeling and diving dervishes. I want to cheer them on, these maligned animals who are simply doing what God created them to do. Especially when I remember that they are responsible for the removal from the air of my arch-enemy, the mosquito. Makes me shiver just to think about it. Go for it, guys, enjoy a great dinner tonight and suck those little guys up like a vacuum cleaner!
And then - poof! - all color is gone from the clouds - except the gray looks gray-er and the creeping deep blue of night begins to saturate the sky. Lights come on in houses, windows glowing with that amber light that makes everything look cozy.
My favorite aunt loved this time of day too, and I often think of her - and miss her dreadfully. When my mother died, she called to offer her services if ever I felt the need for some mothering. We slowly lost her to Alzheimer's - a horrible disease that steals the comfort from relationships and leaves the victim befuddled and easily frightened. She coped as long as she could, with a standard set of questions designed to carry a conversation as if she actually remembered who your were. It broke my heart to hear of her decline - a breaking I had endured several times before as I lost family members, one by one, to age and death..
But this one was different. It was a brutal losing. One inch at a time.
Her son cared for her to the last, as faithful a heart as ever was. He itemized her life, page by page, until everything was numbered and discarded and the important things saved as much as possible.
I have always thought that newly owner less possessions were among the saddest things left on earth. Objects of most importance to someone are suddenly, once again, just "things." They drift in the cosmos and eventually vanish - unless someone remembers their importance and out of a sentimental moment, snatches them up and again assigns them value.
I am so grateful that in my time on this earth I have been so very blessed with my family members. I have friends whose family ties are painful in the extreme. In contrast, I have waltzed through my life with wonderful people, kind people, loving people, who taught me that others were more important than the bug you have under your saddle. One half of my family were bitter and lonely - and heaven protected me from them by a few thousand miles, leaving all the warm, fuzzy ones to surround me with kindness, encouragement and love.
When my time comes to go Home and rejoin them, I hope what I leave behind will be a memory that cocoons the soul, perhaps a joyous laugh, an encouraging word in a difficult time.
The one Man Who ever said He'd rather die than live without us -and proved that by His death - with that death bought me as fearless an exit as is possible from this life. I am so grateful He found a way to push through my self-sufficient ego and fill me with Himself. He changed my life from black and white to color, changed my heart from having room for only me, to embracing Him and letting Him do any future driving to any destination He chose - and to my great surprise and delight, He chose joy.
In addition to which, He added hummers and bats and Quail and chipmunks and sunsets and cool evening zephyrs that dance in the branches of trees and swirl through your soul.
We serve an Awesome God.