"If you are going to bark, do the whole ceremony, the whole ritual," I said to the dog. "It's demeaning to the whole endeavor if you just do something less than halfway." Paeha rolled his eye at me and looked at me showing the white of his eye without even lifting his head, demonstrating his scorn, as though to say 'what do you know about it any way.'
Then Joel announced he was going back to bed, took his book and went down the hall. Paeha jumped up and followed him, glancing at me and lowering his ears as if to say, 'well, you didn't expect me to stay after a comment like that, did you?'
|One of Paeha's other 'looks' while showing off his Dr. Seuss hairdo|
And I am left with the sun pouring in the windows. Mr. Witty is under my feet. The smell of coffee still permeates the air. My prayer is heavy on me, settling on my legs, leaning against my chest like an oversized child still demanding a place in my lap. I think of P, who came to the door last night just as Joel and I lifted our forks to our mouths. It was after seven, dark out --he wanted a ride for him and his woman over to Grandma M's house --they have a tent pitched in her backyard. 'She's hurting tonight, really working her cane,' he said. In the car on the way over to their tent, I asked what happened to their house right behind our house. Family stuff, they said... Family stuff.
On the way home, I passed the skateboard park, and the young folk were gathered between the ramps and gullies in the moonless green light of the distant gas station. There were a few skateboards among them. I had seen a new skateboard just earlier --at the pancake supper fund raiser. A young man had a skateboard that consisted of two lily-pad platforms set at each end of a flexible rod. He had held on to the bell stanchion outside the double doors, practicing tossing each end of the skateboard with his heels. I said, "wow" to him, and he showed me that there were only two main wheels underneath, and sets of wheels at each tip.
So, this morning, I give thanks to the folks who built the skatepark, even though, at the time I was talking to the young lily pad skateboarder, and at the time I passed by the park in the dark, all I could think about was having missed the eclipse --the evening sky was too littered with clouds. And all I could think about was how T had walked the two miles in to town on her gimp leg, but couldn't walk back, and dragged me from my supper table out in to the dim green light....
So, this morning, I give thanks to T and P who dragged me out from my supper table to see the teens at the park in the dim green light, and give me dreams about two more skate parks, and perhaps basketball courts in two other communities, because even as I went out to take T and P home, the basketball court behind our house was crowded and noisy with a game... last year those kids even played in below freezing temperatures, running and shouting.
So, this morning, I give thanks to the folks who built the basketball court, and the kids who venture out to play their vigorous games.
So, this morning, I give thanks for the sun pouring in the windows.
--for the mighty eight pound dog who thinks he can rule with a lazy bark
--for the solemn eighteen pound dog who sits devotedly at my feet
--for the man who reads me a Jesuit document from 1658 on theories of Christian enculturation
--for Grandma M who invites T and P to live in her yard, and because of who she is, she won't let them stay outside all winter although P has lived like that for many winters
--for T and P's family
--for the young people at the skatepark
--for the folks who built the skatepark
--for those who organized and cooked at the fundraiser
--for the young man with the lily pad skateboard
--for the one who gave him the skateboard
--for the eclipse, even though I didn't see it
--for the clouds in the evening sky
--for T and P who survive and which way they can
--for the comfortable feeling I had as I sat down to eat last night
--for the uncomfortable feeling I had as I left my dinner
--for the kids who play basketball
--for the folks who built the basketball court
--for all those who dream and pray for this place
--for the families who loved little J
--for the lost and ungrown kids at my door yesterday morning, and for their kids
--for all the children here....
At prayer this morning (from Ecclesiasticus 11)
There are those who work and struggle and hurry,
but are so much the more in want.
There are others who are unhurried and need help,
who lack strength and abound in poverty;
but the eyes of the Lord look kindly upon them;
he lifts them out of their lowly condition
and raises up their heads
to the amazement of the many.
Good things and bad, life and death,
poverty and wealth, come from the Lord.
Stand by your agreement and attend to it,
and grow old in your work.
--and this (Luke 10:38-42)
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.
But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.”
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
I know this for sure --that if I didn't do this little Mary bit every morning, there is no way in hell I could even begin the unending Martha bit the rest of the day... so, for this, too, I give thanks.