My mind is still on vacation at Julie’s
Stepping into the cathedral quiet rain forest
Surprised it is so close to our sitting and watching TV
I’m still walking the trail with her yellow lab as our senses come alive in the shaded damp forest scent
Eyes dancing from fern to sunbeam through the trees
“Just a trail,” I thought, “a pretty walk”…until
I stepped into God’s Cathedral forest
Sometimes beauty is so unexpected,
I meet it with a surprised intake of breath and awe.
He is here in this place of quiet
Enjoying the coolness
This meeting place where words and thoughts are set aside
For gazes and deep breaths and amazed sighs.
Bathed in peace.
I’m still on vacation
Laughing in double sol
Our guards melting into adventurous cheating and catching
Punishing and laughing.
A game my mother plays with practiced hand—Julie too
Who knows when such silliness will come to life?
But then a game of cards emerges with two professionals and one beginner.
1000 points in dice did not boost the enthusiasm like catching someone’s mistake.
She saw it and I didn’t and an extra card slapped my way
amid protests of complaints and sighs of compliance.
Tension rises as each person’s intent grows to catch and not be caught.
In this game, our should’s and ought to’s were tossed aside except for the placement of cards and the laughter and glee at catching and getting caught.
We got to see each other new in ways never captured shopping or watching TV.
I’m still on vacation as mom and I express our gratitude with gifts of chores needed
but set aside by Julie for more pressing or less focused times.
My prayerful eyes surveyed the landscape to see what I could do that would boost the soul—every soul. What chore, what gift could I offer?
pretty but needing attention.
We weeded and pulled and dug and raked. We trimmed and mowed and swept. We shopped for flowers and bulbs and mother found their homes in the flower beds.
Standing back and taking pictures, the yard was clean and neat and ready for the coming winter.
Hard work and deep satisfaction.
I’m still on vacation—a somewhat commissioned decorator.
Out pops decorative items and ideas for mantels and dining room and entertainment center.
The purpose driven detective decorator in me searches and unveils items needed and discarded.
And after the flurry—a mantle sparkles with tiny lights, orange berries, and candles.
The dining room basks with autumn leaves and candles,
new placemats and contrasting plates—ready for the harvest meals.
My mind is still on vacation
A bit nervous on the way late to Contra Dancing.
Driving a long way to a school, I think,
and a downstairs room looking older than me
with wooden floors and a stage.
A ragamuffin group of expectant people
wearing their choice of dancing clothes.
Jeans and T shirts, blouses and swirling skirts.
Tennis shoes and jazz shoes to no shoes at all.
Quick verbal instructions from my sister wanting to help me in my first dancing.
Could I do it?
Would I be foolish and faltering in my steps?
Would I be sorry and rather sit and watch?
What have I done by jumping off this platform to dance?
“Would you like to dance?” he asked.
I didn’t know if I would like to dance, but wanted to more than not.
“Yes, but I’m new and haven’t done this before.”
My undaunted partner steps with me out to the dance floor and amid confused mind and baffled feet
I listen to foreign instructions and bumble through a brief practice.
The music starts and off we go into vaguely familiar territory. I know the swing and doh se doh, but other steps and directions catch me dumb. My partners' gentle nudges and encouraging smiles help my awkward body remember a smoother way. Can I do this?
By the time the evening is over with many dances under my belt,
I DID IT! Partners rejoiced when I got it right.
I didn’t hide and go away.
I risked and tried and had a wonderful time.
Thank you Julie for encouraging me to share your new joy in dancing.
Julie is my adventurous sister.
Stepping into fearful divorce alone with six children
Wading through depression
And keeping her children close and prayed for.
Unwavering faith into each fearful place.
Weathering loss and homelessness
No jobs and new jobs
New homes and children faltering in their young adult lives.
Never have I seen such closeness in a family.
Obvious love and devotion for a mom that has weathered the storms with faith and a smile.
Julie is my adventurous sister
Buying and selling homes on her own
Dancing alone with new partners to swing
I am tickled and please to see joy reborn
On her face
In her voice
In her body
A dance resurrection that breathes new life into her soul.
Julie is my adventurous sister
And now it seems God sheds his grace on her.
Beautiful home and yard,
Good job, wonderful church.
We are only waiting for her new friends to come and discover her.Friends that are looking for an adventure ;-)
Relaxing in the hot tub.
The forest in the background of Julie's hot tub is the cathedral forest mentioned near the beginning.
Julie and I in front of Lake Stevens