********** A Christian Journal **********

Growing in the Spirit of Jesus Christ

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 16, 2010 (after the storm)

backyard after storm
showing our porch and the dead
Sugar Maple tree

7/12/10 (evening)
It has been hot here in the Northeast (USA).
We were spoiled by the cooler temperatures
over the last few summers.
Today there was a thunderstorm
with rapidly descending volumes of rain.
Now with just a gentle rain falling
my daughter and I have moved
out into the screened-in porch.
Our three cats joined us after spending
most of their time inside, darting back and forth
between the loud claps of thunder.
Kokomo is cleaning between the toes
of his oversized “Hemmingway” paw.
Zembie, the red/orange cat,
is surveying the backyard for birds
while perched atop the porch railing.
Willow, the older matriarch,
just lounges on her settee.

In the distance is heard the plaintive cry
of mourning doves.
My mother used to say that they were
crying for rain… guess they didn’t get enough today.
As a child I used to love to hear them… still do.
A friend recently told me that if he were to pick a totem,
his would have to be the Red-Tailed Hawk.
On his frequent road trips, he would see one
early most mornings.
I guess then mine would have to be the Mourning Dove.
Some find it a sorrowful cry (hence mourning)
whereas I find it peaceful and relaxing.
In the same way, I find a lot of Celtic music (even laments)
peaceful as I do the soulful music
of Native American flutes.

As for saddening, this week we lost a favorite
Sugar Maple tree… suddenly dying,
the leaves on the tree shriveled
and turned brown within a day or two. It felt like
losing an old friend. The tree provided us
with many years of privacy, shade, and gorgeous
autumn leaves but thankfully I caught
much of the autumn splendor on camera.
Perhaps I will replace it next year with an oak tree;
of which, we have none.

The bluebird house
in the far center of the backyard
is finally home to a pair of bluebirds.
Up to this year
other species have nested there.
Often, as is the case this evening,
we see the male making
several excursions for food…
what a spectacular flash of blue.

Tomorrow, the 13th, my wife,
her very special friend, and my daughter
have planned a shopping trip.
Called a FADDOWE (pronounced FAD-O-WE),
it refers to Faye and Darlene’s day out…
this time with Erin.

These excursions are always a lot of fun for them
and it gives me some time alone (on the porch)
with my books, a glass of iced tea (or coffee),
my thoughts/reflections and the Lord.

Take the time, every day, to spend alone with God.
Read His word and meditate on what you are reading.
Take the time to enjoy His creation.
Take the time to reflect on your relationship with Him…
nothing is better than getting close to Him.
Pray for wisdom and understanding
as you listen for Him to speak to your heart…
then trust and obey.


  1. Beautifully written. I feel like I was there!

  2. Rainy days and solemn music speak to me as well. There is an Agnus Dei on Robert Shaw's Evocation of the Spirit that, although fairly popular, really makes my heart ache.

    To hear of another enjoying the presence of God in so many things moves me and gives me hope. Truly "nothing is better than getting close to him."