Presence

I bet I can guess what you’re thinking. What the heck is that a picture of?! Well, I had this inspiration to try to take a picture of the fireflies in our backyard. I thought, really long exposure, maybe I’d get an image of 10 or 20 of them making little light trails. It didn’t work out that way, although if you look carefully you can see one firefly in this picture.

So the lightning bug thing wasn’t particularly successful, but something else did happen. While I was standing quite still beside the camera, a doe came walking toward me from the next yard. She saw me and froze, and we stayed that way for a minute or so before she turned and went away. Then a few minutes later she was back. She slipped into the shade at the far left of the picture where I couldn’t see her, but I knew she was there, and she knew I knew, and etc. Watching, waiting. She lingered maybe two or three minutes, and for that whole time I felt a powerful sense of transcendent presence. And then she was gone.

Reserved parking

Reserved parking

There’s a space at church that I think of as mine. It isn’t marked and I don’t know if others look at it that way, but I always arrive early enough to park there before anyone else has a chance. In church, assigned or not, the regulars all have a particular pew they think of as theirs, and everyone else respects that.

What creatures of habit we are. We park in the same place, sit in the same pew, go to the same table at coffee hour. Knowing you have a place that’s yours in this world: what a comfort, and yet at the same time, what a temptation. We weren’t made to sit and stay put.

Years ago I belonged to a church that held two services in all seasons except summer, when we cut back to one. That meant the folks who claimed a particular seat at the 8:30 came face to face with their counterparts from the 10. Now that was interesting.

Day lily

I keep coming back to day lilies. I think maybe they’ve become my favorite; that color is joy to me, and they bloom so abundantly in this season. Sometimes I look in the morning to see if I can catch one that’s lasted more than a single day, but I never do. Why would Creation take the trouble to make something so glorious but so short-lived, and to what purpose? Simply to be what it was created to be. I suppose you could say the same of us.

Perspective

I cross this bridge a couple of times a week. It’s narrow and the 15 MPH speed limit is for real, because there’s not much margin for error between the guardrail on one side and the passing sideview mirrors on the other. It’s only when I look up at it from the riverbank that I see it as a thing of beauty: the grace and efficiency of the design against the sky, the play of light around it at different times of day. Perspective is everything.

Bridge of light

Bridge of light

Bridge of light: It’s only when I stand on the shore that I realize this crossing as liminal space – suspended between heaven and earth, midway between two towns, two states. And yet this where I see all of those other places more clearly than anywhere else.