My frame of mind today is like this blustery wind, blowing this way and that, without landing on anything solid. It's fleeting thoughts and fragments-a little of this and a little of that. My Bible readings today didn't even evoke a sense of agreement or disagreement, which is unusual. Nor did my fellow bloggers posts inspire me to respond in a witty manner. I almost called this blog post "I got nothing". But that's not entirely true.
My daily reading came out of Psalms, chapter 128 (The Message paraphrase). This is what caught my eye:
"All you who fear God, how blessed you are! How happily you walk on his smooth straight road! You worked hard and deserve all you've got coming. Enjoy the blessing! Revel in the goodness!...Stand in awe of God's Yes. Oh how he blesses the one who fears God!"My first thought was that I could point out a lot of individuals around me, who are not feeling very blessed. Does that mean that they are ungrateful because right now they don't see any blessings? Or, is it that they have been knocked around for so long that they don't see any point in hoping for a blessing? I think a lot of people feel like the oak leaves I saw blowing around or like the little birds attempting to fly. The oak trees are down the hill at the bottom of my yard, yet, the leaves were twirling around, being blown uphill by the wind and it is any one's guess where they will land. Then there are the little birds trying to fly from branch to branch, furiously flapping against the wind in order to reach the branch that they were aiming for. When they finally land, they cling desperately while the wind whips the small branches around. For many, this is how they feel day to day.
Then, my Disciple Bible Study reading covered Second Peter. Beware false prophets for the end is near. My thought was, how would my life be different if I believed that the end was near for me? Let's face it, there is no guarantee of tomorrow. Would I make different choices and live differently if I knew my end was fast upon me? How different would we behave as a society if we knew that our end was fast approaching? How different would the church be, if the church knew that its end was coming? I don't have an answer to any of those questions and it's not something that I seem to be willing to wrestle with today.
No, today reminds me of home, and it is bittersweet. On a day like today, my dad would go ahead and fire up his wood stove in his workshop and he would be busy with his various woodworking projects. He would be making toys or birdhouses, just puttering around doing something that he truly loved. He and mom would also be planning on what trees they were going to cut down to use for wreath making. Mom always made wreaths every year for family and for a few neighbors which gave her a little extra spending money for the holidays. Our dining room table turned in to a huge work table for mom as she created her beautiful wreaths out of real balsam and pine. The smell would permeate through the house, absolutely one of the best smells ever in my book! Even if I wasn't at home, when mom made the wreaths, you could always tell that she had been working on them, the minute you walked in the door. The skies might be leaden gray and the wind could be howling, but it was always warm and cozy in the house because the freshness of outdoors came inside with those boughs.
Dad is not tinkering in his workshop and I'm not sure if mom will be making wreaths this year, now that dad is no longer with us. That wonderful time of my life has ended. The time of feeling safe and warm and cozy and a part of the natural environment around me is over. Today I feel adrift, like the oak leaves blowing in the wind. Today I feel like I am having to flap hard against the wind, like the small birds in the front yard. Today, I mourn, just a little for what I no longer have in my life. The memories that are evoked, are wonderful, but they remind me of how big a hole there is in my heart. It's been almost one year since I made that emergency trip home because dad had been hospitalized. All indications were that dad was not going to pull through and I was going home to say good-bye. But he did pull through and even though he was diagnosed with cancer, the outcome looked positive. Bless his heart, he was a fighter! He made it through the holidays. He didn't give himself permission to let go until February. Instead of fighting against the wind, he chose to ride the current and let his soul soar.
Dad would have liked a day like today. It gave him an excuse to be in his shop, tinkering, doing what he loved. Today would be a day for feeling alive and connected and doing the things that he loved, for those that he loved. Today I shed tears of sorrow and joy. Sorrow because I miss him so very much. Joy because I was so privileged to have him as a part of my life for so many years.