”5 Things I Saw Today” – July 2021

  1. Electricity surrounded by water. Everyone knows that water and electricity spells a big shocker. Today I saw the pedestal for our campsite electric hookup surrounded by water. Hmm, that could spell more trouble than a night of torrential downpours.
  2. A bedraggled, soaking wet squirrel. The morning light brought more than just blessed camp stove percolated coffee. We also had a visitor to our campsite. First time I saw a squirrel looking miserable and hating his life. I always thought the woodland creatures had secret shelters and never got wet in storms. It was a young thing. Maybe he didn’t know the secret yet. I gave him an almond and his countenance changed in just a few bites.
  3. A top notch, wood fire oven pizza in a town with a population of 502. Never thought we would find real Italian pizza out in the country. There are treasures and successes where you least expect to find them. Maybe right around the corner, a few miles in the direction you never took before. Don’t believe the naysayers, give it your all.
  4. A swarm of birds all bent on fighting me to the death. Okay so maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but here’s how it went. Sitting under a pavilion built like the open frame of a barn, I noticed a pair of swallows and a mud nest. Looking a little closer I saw a few more nests. These birds have beautiful contrasting browns, creams, and orange shades. They are proud little birds that fly like ace fighter pilots dipping and skimming close to the ground, swooping up with their characteristic scalloped, tails. They were a joy to watch. Another pair came under the pavilion and busied themselves at their nest. I looked up, then walked around realizing there were at least ten nests hidden in the eaves, plastered against the electric conduit, on top of the light fixture. I saw a head bobbing in one of the nests so I stepped up on a picnic table to get a better look. Mind you the ceiling is twenty or thirty feet high. In a split second, a swarm of swallows came swooping in like a cloud, whistling and scolding me, surrounding the one nest that seemed to have hatchlings in it. It was surprising and wonderful how they knew a threat was there and they all responded. Very cool community going on in that bird population.
  5. People laughing and excited in the middle of a mud swamped campsite. It’s amazing how if people are bent on having fun, no amount of rain, mud and altered circumstances will stop that from happening. Taking an evening walk around the campground just after a day of downpours, we passed a site with four canopies put together making a huge shelter. Underneath adults and kids were lounging on chairs or running around, a movie was playing on an outdoor screen, popcorn was popping some where in the midst of the melee. We passed a dad (had to be a dad, he had bags of cotton candy in his hands) sloshing over muddy grass, catching himself before he slipped but never losing that big contented smile that comes with truly good times. We camp as a couple. No big party going on at our site but that dad smile was contagious and I’m thankful to witness this family’s undeterred joy.

There are so many things to see around us, good, amazing, inspiring, humbling things. All the stuff of a good story! Go out and find one. Get up and write one!

Six Things the World Should Not be Without

  1. Birds singing – birds sang when the skies were quiet after 911. They sang after the tornado blew through, the dust storm blew out, after the last crack of a bullet from battle or the drive-by shooting. They sang when the unjust took power and life got harder. They sang even at the gravesite where mourners were speechless. If their bright songs, their ballad of joy ceases, who will remind us that hope still resides on earth?
  2. Music –music sweeps through our cells and catches our deepest emotions and pulls them up and out to the surface where, yes, we feel. The order, the disorder, the rhythm, the syncopation, the sound on our eardrums travels through tiny bones and we are turned inside out, lost, caught up, taken away, let loose, drawn to tears, to laughter, to reconciliation, to hard choices sealed by a melody that holds the answer. No, humanity would not make it without music.
  3. Wind – is there anything that speaks both peace and shear terror?
  4. Compassion – in compassion is understanding that it’s not all about me, every person is a ‘me’. Someone else’s pain, is my pain. Someone else’s need is my need. Without compassion, there is unbridled selfishiness, loneness, anxiety and fear at failing to take care of ‘me’. Passing by my own needs, they are left behind like extra clothing on a hot day. I lose what I was afraid to not have without looking back because I’m lost in caring for the comfort of someone else.
  5. Humility– if everyone was proud, everyone boastful, everyone up front, on top, the best, we would all be in a single horizontal line. If someone dropped something who would bend down, and for a moment be lower, to pick it up? Humility is freedom. Freedom to be last, to be overlooked, to be quiet, to serve, to rest in the shadow of another and be at peace.
  6. Hunger– surprised? Hunger not starvation. Each and every day, every human knows hunger, a reminder that we have limitations, we need food to survive no matter how successful, powerful, self-sufficient we are. If our physical needs were not a part of life calling us back to the basic task of feeding our bellies, how much more trouble would we be in?

Just some thoughts. Write on, think on.