Under the Cistine Umbrella

It is raining in my little woods today. I huddle on the red plastic sled, under my Cistine umbrella (a plain black model on the outside, it opens to reveal a ceiling of Cistine art). The rain "tap, tap, taps" on waterproof black, while I look up at fleshy, holy figures.

A breeze shakes the pine and "tap, taps" come in a fast, hard sheet, insistent. I sip green tea. Watch the steam rise. Look out at the bare forsythia, jeweled in strings of liquid pearls. The thorn bush drips with crimson teardrop berries. Snow in and around the English ivy is pocked from falling rain.

Above me, the finger of God reaches for Adam's hand. I remove my glove, slip my palm beyond umbrella shelter, wait. Remarkable how long it takes. For a drop to splash onto my skin.

At last You reach down, touch me. I sip Your bounty, a quick, tiny cold drink. And sigh. Under the Cistine umbrella.

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A Counting

There is something I've been counting. Oh,
I don't need to tell You what it is.

Haven't You been watching me,
like a mama who sees her child digging
past tissues and receipts in her
bright red purse? Little chubby fingers,
counting the coins just to make sure
allowance day will not come up

Oh, yes.

I've been a


Could You,

with Your blood red lips,

kiss my fingers


Based on 1 Chronicles 27:23... "David did not count those below twenty years of age, for the LORD had promised to make Israel as numerous as the stars of heaven."

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Comes the Fog

So many people speak
of being visited by You
as light,
or enlightenment or a
moment of clarity
and truth...

Have they never run
through a foggy night
and seen the dense
smoke, the haze where
heat and cold collided,
only to slow, to almost halt
the soul?



Coyote at the Door

Somehow I woke last night, remembering the coyote at my sister's door. It showed up one day, nose to the glass... drawn, apparently, by some bacon grease that her Eldest poured near the house (when it should have been taken to the far corner of the yard).

In the darkness of my bed, in my mind's eye, I saw the grey grizzled face, sharp eyes, saliva dripping. I saw the hunger in his aspect... poised as he was, there at the glass, hoping for more than a lick of grease.

This made me think of the story of "Dad's" brother. When yet a child, playing in the fields, he was carried off. By a wolf. And I lay there wondering, is there a coyote at my door? Or even more than one? Drawn there by carelessness of my heart and soul?

So I prayed to You, "Our Father, who art in heaven... lead me not into temptation, but deliver me... from the coyote at the door."

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Route 9 and Chadeayne Road

On route 9, at sixty miles per hour, my Eldest made the observation that some buildings invite us to be silent. Like the ones in Washington D.C. or old churches, she said. Why is that?

I could not give her adequate answer. Is it because we feel small in those places? Or because beauty demands a hush?

I could not say, but when I walked into the night on Chadeayne Road two days later, and the Big Dipper was pouring out its loveliness, and the arrow of Orion was pointing across the vast and sparkling night, then I just knew she was on to something.

Night's cathedral stilled my soul, and I was silenced. Silenced and small. Overcome with awe of You.