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California Children Crestline Flowers/Gardening Friends grandparents Home Life mercy Photography San Bernardino Mountains seasons Spring Weather/Nature

Of Daffodils and Forgiveness

My camera has been in the shop, the weather has been the wintery kind that lectures people with bodies a bit on the agey side such as mine to stay indoors, and I’ve been busy with the wrap-up of Dream Shards. Such are the reasons I have not taken many pictures lately, and why my photography fingers have been itchy. (NEW SUBJECT stuck right here in the middle of this paragraph: I’ve decided to take up word invention. Consider the word right there in the third line–agey. My dictionaries indicate there is no such word, while my common–or inventive–sense tells me there should be. Aged is available–a regular, ole word, but that just does not have the right sound–or look. So, agey it will remain, at least here on my column, although my smarty-pants dictionary built into my Mac snarks a red line every time I type the word!) Anyway, I got my camera back, tugged cleated boots onto my feet, slipped my hands into warm gloves, plopped a fuzzy cap atop my head, and set out.

The grey birdbath aligned by the side of these daffodils is filled with water that through the weeks of this long winter has alternated between a state of frozen slab and of liquid thin enough that the occasional bird has dipped its head, and taken a drink. At the slender feet of these magnificent flowers is a spread of white, a remnant of the record-breaking snow and rainfall we have experienced here in the San Bernardino Forest this year.

We have planted bulbs since we moved here, adding to the number that pushed through the earth and revealed themselves the first spring we lived here in Crestline. When the daffodils are in full bloom, as they are now, they sketch a golden swath of color across our front bank, truly magnificent.

Ken and Nancy, who live across the street are the best neighbors anyone could have. Three of their grandchildren are visiting now, and a couple of days ago they came onto our front deck. “What’s up, kids?” I asked them

Jake, the eldest, handed me an envelope, even as he was chattering away. “We’re sorry . . .about the flowers.”

Krista is a beautiful little girl with long black hair. Six years old, I think. Her face wore fright and sincere sorrow. She said nothing.

I opened the envelope and read the notes.


They’re allowed to play in our yard, and in the neighbors to our right, for their grandparent’s property has little flat ground. It seems they had started up a little business; selling daffodils to each other. Our daffodils, and Kerry’s who lives two houses away.

I told them it was okay, and that I knew they wouldn’t do it again. I really can’t even tell any of the flowers are missing. “Kerry thought it was a really bad thing,” Jake said in a defensive, little bit arrogant way.

A couple of days after this happened, as Jerry and I were walking back from the woods, I looked intently at Kerry’s yard. They have no daffodils. Every single flower is gone.

But Krista’s letter. Did you notice it? At the bottom, I believe she said, “Do you forgive me?”

I do. I hope Kerry does.

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Addiction Alcoholism Christianity/Religion Courage Friends God Goodness of man Life mercy Photography

On The Cusp

Occasionally we finger the edge of it; our touch reckons it to be uncommon, even of the eternal. From our deep, issue thick tears, even as our breath catches. Rarified has brushed against us; encounter with glory laces our world.

Compelled to know the depth of this story, I recognize it now more than ever, to be our story, Jerry’s and mine, and in an unfathomable way, he is as our child. He who nearly killed Jerry. We weep . . .for him. . . for his people . . .for ourselves . . .for mankind. Journal words grip . . .his father discarded by drugged parents–orphanage drop-off, as casual as the mailing of a post office package. Rage. Violence. Carried to new generation . . .and to another, kicked as a bent can down the wretched road of drugs and alcohol and anger.

“My father, an Italian man was racist, called flies on the wall niggers. My mother mentioned that she did not like me at one point because I was David Jr.” A sense of aloneness in his family engulfed him, he told me yesterday, and still at this time in his life, he intimated, “I have a sense of aloneness.”

And so we met, and talked, and cried, and loved. We apologized. We forgave.

 

Dave and his wife, Dana.

At the Claim Jumper, we ordered food we could not eat.

And they had brought their copy of A Thousand Pieces, and I wrote in it, and then did Jerry, and maybe at that moment none of our eyes took in the dedication page: To Jerry, who lived it.

So here we are. On the brim, the edge. Delving, Searching. We read. We write. The last chapter? On the margin of enlightenment, self-understanding, reckoning with ourselves, finding our way ever deeper into the presence of God. The Buxtons and the Esteys . . .on the cusp. . .

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Christianity/Religion judgement of God mercy

Silence of the Ages

A 44-second stare is a long one; possibly intimidating, uncomfortable, even maddening.image I watched a few days ago as Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, took such a stance before the United Nations. He preceded the stern stare with these words:

Seventy years after the murder of 6 million Jews, Iran’s rulers promised to destroy my country, murder my people; and the response from this body — the response from nearly every one of the governments represented here — has been absolutely nothing,” a defiant Netanyahu said. “Utter silence. Deafening silence.

I admire Mr. Netanyahu. His passionate speeches inspire me. His recent stare, and his words utter silence and deafening silence made an impact on me; on my mind, my emotions, on my soul.

For one day–of a surety the day will come–the eyes of the Almighty will bore into mine, and in that great silence–the silence of the ages–I must give account of my life on this earth.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:12

I cringe when I consider that moment. I shudder to think of the opening of “my book.” The eyes of God will surely be riveted on me. Screaming around me will be the silence of the ages.

Enter twins: Grace and Mercy.