Thursday, July 17, 2014

Longmire, Gloria, King George and Dad

Gloria and Longmire
Last year, late in the summer and into the fall, was a sad and difficult time for us, filled with a variety of disappointments, disillusionment, and life-altering events. Many things had to be accomplished in a few short weeks -- almost all with insufficient resources -- and personal tragedies and dramas had to be relegated to the pile of problems we would think about when there was a spare moment and an ounce of energy. Often, it felt as though our loads couldn't get any heavier or we would simply collapse where we stood... and yet, the fountain was open and continued to gush difficulty and sadness.

Our front entry at the shop -- my tribute. 
One evening I came home from another heat-festering and physically-demanding day at work, so tired I could barely stand to even stay alive. I was even too dirty to stay alive. Too tired. Too dirty. Too sweaty. Too discouraged. Too forgotten. Too mean.

Instead of going inside (where I'd immediately need to take fifteen minutes to care for our little wiener dogs who would accost me as I came into the door), I dragged over and sat on the old metal arbor with the intention of spending a little time feeling sorry for myself and my sad and difficult plight.

I was so tired I couldn't think. So tired I couldn't see. So tired I couldn't feel. I just sat and looked but when I looked out across the yard I wasn't seeing a thing. When Shoobydoo, one of our old ugly cats, came around to greet me by swishing her tail across my bare legs, it made me mad that even she wanted something from me when I had nothing else to give and so I huffed at her and turned the other direction on the arbor and looked out over the driveway.

There, past my filthy old red truck, were two peacocks, quietly picking their way through the gravel under the woodpile beyond. They moved stealthily into the yard and toward me as I looked on in utter astonishment. Shoobydoo walked over to them and greeted them as she'd greeted me and the peacocks seemed familiar with her.

Dad and his old watches and knives.
Gloria and Longmire, and even the big boy peacock we call King George (who has all his feathers) are still visiting a year later and each encounter is intriguing and wonderful. They belong to a neighbor who lives about a half mile away and the peacocks travels back and forth across our back field fairly regularly. We often hear them calling to one another. Actually, they seem to enjoy roosting on our roof and then screaming in their formidable peacock way.

But on that particular day last August, as I looked upon those beautiful and quiet birds at my feet, I was mystified once again by all that our lives encompass. The endless details that we seek to master but which often instead seem to conquer us are insignificant when compared to the very real and magnificent details God has prepared for us in this world: His endless, effortless details.

I told my dad about the peacocks and showed him the pictures I had taken. In his bed in the nursing home, he said he would like to see them but of course, he never would and he knew it and so did I.

We finished that time in our lives. We. Finished.

Oh, there's still tons of work to do at the shop and our resources are still lacking in a variety of areas and many of the changes that came upon us last summer are permanent. But we finished that season -- we finished -- and we won't ever have to repeat it again.

Sometimes a person will tell you that there is a reason why all the things that happen, happen. I know it must be true for them. But me. I don't seem to get any wiser or richer or more spiritual or Godly or learn a thing. I just stay dazed and confused and overwhelmed. So me. Well, I don't know why all the things that happen, happen.

What do I know after last year? Nothing. Not a blamed thing.
Those peacocks -- they were a mystery to me. My time with them was fleeting and I think about them and hope to see them again every day. When I do, it seems magical and enchanting and I love them. What a fine thing: those peacocks.

My father -- he was a mystery to me. My time with him was fleeting and I think about him and hope to see him again every day. When I do, it will be magical and enchanting because I love him. What a fine thing: my father.

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