Observations on a Friday Evening

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

Goosebumps rise on my forearms, competing for space among the freckles. Standing near the kitchen window, I peer through wood slats, moved to somehow find words for the indescribable. Nobody can capture the fleeting, never-repeated beauty of a cloudy sunset. Not writers, not painters. Not really. All we may attempt is a mediocre copy of a genius that lies beyond our reach.

And yet we keep stretching, hoping to grasp it.

The little hairs stand on the back of my neck in response to the chill. It is spring but not yet warm. Faded leaves, left behind in Autumn, blanketed in Winter, out of place now, cluster around the tree trunks. I imagine they are jealous of the tender buds on the limbs. A juxtaposition of death and life, a mingling of seasons.

A dance, the steps of which we never quite learn.

Nature can never be reduced to the clinical, the parts. We try to box it up. Contain it. Master it. Yet there is something beyond the mechanics. An echo, a calling. We study but long to peer beyond.

Palest of yellows. A tinge of orange. Fluff above shifts and shudders.

The dogs bark at nothing. One runs through the little door, plastic and metal banging. Disturbing the scene.

Reverie broken, I turn from the window. Back to the now.

This now – I don’t care for it, for here there are many questions. Foremost in my mind is whether I should even continue this writing thing. Wondering if I’m any good at it. If the hours I spend with the pen and the keys matter.

I have no answer and I do not look for your pity.

My eyes move back to the window and the distance. Light has faded. Nothing but clouds now, obscuring the first stars of night. My mind conjures up strains from “Somewhere Out There,” sung by the little immigrant mouse in the child’s movie. He looked. I look.

The kettle whistles. Time for a cup of something hot, a comfort in the unanswered.

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Image credit: Micah Hallahan

Five Minute Friday: Gift

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Gentle Reader,

Chit-chatting with my online friends and trying to ignore the headache pounding behind my eyes. It’s Kate. It’s my people, my group. It’s a: gift.

Go.

I look out the front window. My eyes rest on the rose bushes climbing the weathered wood trellis. They reach toward the sun, canes shooting this way and that. Heavy heads sway back and forth, up and down in the breeze. Bright pink, full flowers mingle with darker fuchsia. Shy buds hide within deep green shields, waiting for their turn to burst forth in showy display.

This is a gift.

My parents passed on a love of plants to me. Oh, I can’t rattle off a list of names of the flora that crosses my path when I take a walk. In fact, I can’t name very many plants by sight at all. The love they passed to me is less…clinical, I guess. Less about lists and terms and more about an appreciation for beauty.

My mom put potted petunias on the porch steps every summer. My dad took care of the rose bushes. (One sprung up in the middle of the lawn and he left it there just to bug my mom). Snapdragons and tall, willowy grasses grew just beyond the fence. Around the corner from our house, wild lilacs filled the air with their delicious, heady scent.

There is something so refreshing about nature. I feel connected to God when I’m digging in the dirt. There is a sense of accomplishment when I pull weeds. There is pleasure in putting together a bouquet.

The softness of the petals. The sting of the thorns. The glorious shades of color, never perfectly matched by paint.

God’s special gift in a tough world.

Stop.

My journey to faith. (15)