When we’ve all moved lock, stock and candy wrapper to some giant biosphere high up in Space, what will be said of our time on this planet? What will be remembered, say, of a summer day here on Earth?
Will anyone recall the young women riding morning buses on their way to work?
She wore a dress scooped low in the back, and I watched as with sure and practiced hands she reached behind her to arrange her hair, lifting and looping sections, disciplining its long braids, until, at last satisfied, she let the heavy whole of it drop against bare skin.
Where is the video camera for moments like these?
Later that day, 100 miles farther west, at a rest stop on Interstate 90, I wondered that same thing again, as I sat on one of the arc-shaped stone benches encircling the stone tables on the Visitors’ Center’s leafy patio. I watched as the scalloped edges of the umbrellas sheltering this Stonehenge-like seating danced in the wind and thought, “If I could only paint! I wouldn’t need a video camera if I had the artist’s eye to capture this breeze in a series of brush strokes.”
I looked around more and saw a woman well into her 70s so delighted with the pre-school child holding her hand that she was literally skipping from her car to where I sat, the little boy skipping with her and the two talking delightedly away even as they flitted from the hot asphalt to that cool bower of shade where we outdoor diners sat, paused on our several journeys.
That pause is a big element of life on this Earth in the warmer months I think.
I move through my days, same as I do all year, but find myself lately taking more time to notice each moment.
Yesterday I was trying to clear a sink drain and accidentally dropped the small red cap to the can of the harsh chemical down into the drain too, thus doubly stopping it up, and the irony of that fact made me ponder.
I called the plumber and when he arrived we chatted away about all the small mild ‘reprimands’ Fate sends our way.
“Look at this,” he said, indicating his reddened left arm. “I was weeding around the foundation of my house when a whole swarm of yellow-jackets buzzed up out of the ground and stung me!”
“I have eight or ten bites here,” he added, pointing.
“Yikes!” I said. “And nothing hurts worse than a yellow jacket’s sting!”
“Oh, but that’s not all! The next day when it started itching like crazy, I realized: That weed patch was full of poison ivy!”
It seems likely to me that here was a conversation that would NOT have taken place in the hurry-up cold months.
The young woman would have been in a coat for one thing, her lovely back all covered; and the canvas umbrellas would not have even been there to snap in the breeze; and for sure the older lady would not have been skipping over stone-cold asphalt.
Time seems to slow in the warm months and open these small still pools into which we can for once really see ourselves living, the way God sees us and, let us hope, the way God smiles in the seeing.