Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wife Rule #118: Just Had to Share

As you recall,
I didn't sleep well last night
because of the rain blowing in.
It's the first storm of autumn,
bringing a sudden, delicious drop in temperature
and promising a scintillating smorgasbord for the senses,
just around the corner:
eye-popping color-candy in the boughs of the trees,
the pleasant crunch of leaves underfoot,
the earthy smell of decay in the air,
and the harvest of all the year's promise,
culminating in a cornucopia of holiday tradition.

What's not to love?

As I rounded a bend
in the rain-slick road on my way into work,
the curtain of moody, slate sky parted momentarily,
revealing twelve-thousand-foot Timponogos
adorned like a bride,
with virgin snow atop
and delicate patterns of frost
extending to where the foothills were shrouded
beneath a soft bank of low-lying mist.
Underneath this veil
the mountain still blushed with the crab-apple hues
of a fleeting autumn that will fade much faster
than it will here, in the valley.

After only a moment the curtain closed,
dousing the brief, fiery spotlight
that shone with such vigor on the scene
and dissolving the view once again
into a uniform pattern of wet road and milky sky.

It may all be gone tomorrow,
and I didn't have a camera.
But still, I just had to share.
So, my Love, there you go.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wife Rule #117: The Price of Love

Life can certainly throw some interesting curve-balls. There are times when part of the learning that takes place here in mortality involves accepting things that are not at all pleasant to think about; things that would seem to be much better left ignored or buried; ugly things, not of your own choosing, that leave you feeling dirty for them merely having passed through your brain.

Some of these things are so earth-shattering that they momentarily suspend your current view of reality. This can happen with such abruptness that it feels as if you are experiencing one of those moments in a movie where from the protagonist's point of view, everyone and everything suddenly freezes: the person walking in mid-step; the bird in mid-flight; the falling fountain water in mid-air, turning to solid, hovering orbs of crystal. Even molecular motion is suspended and with it, all sense of warmth evaporates. You are left alone with your thoughts, to struggle to make sense of the world around you. Such physics-defying times tend to alter your perceptions of reality, rewriting history and turning your well-set tables upside down.

This of course is disconcerting in its mildest instances, and devastating in its worse forms. You suddenly find yourself questioning everything and everyone and wondering what you can truly count on. You realize that certain assumptions you have harbored for years may have been false. You cease to take anything for granted; everything is suddenly back on the table. You find yourself grasping out into the coldness of space for something--anything--solid to cling to. You feel very vulnerable and very, very small, in a big, wide, unfeeling world that continues mercilessly on without you. You realize that it is not the world that is paralyzed, but you.

And then you latch onto something solid.

For there is truth in this world of ambiguity. There is a source of light, and warmth, and knowledge that permeates the cold emptiness of space with a life-giving sustenance that makes these times endurable. There is a God in heaven, who understands everything we encounter here, for He has been here! He condescended with the express purpose of gathering His own infinite store of such experiences, so that His balm might be perfectly suited to our hours of greatest need. He knows us, for He created us. He is the one who uttered eternal laws into existence, and those laws provide a solid framework upon which rests the universe. There is a cosmic order in the apparent chaos that surrounds us.

He has not left us alone. No matter how deep the hurt, or how tragic the fall, or how bewildering the pain, or how blinding the confusion, there are agents here to help us. There are those who care for us, who pray for us, who are anxious to bless us as His hands on earth.

And even in the times when we truly are alone, He is there personally to nurture us with the Comforter, wrapping us in a warm, hand-made quilt of sufficient scope to completely cover our needs.

I have been blessed with an abundance of such heavenly help. Parents, brothers, sisters, friends, and neighbors all tend to my comfort. And my closest, most personal ministering angel is a thirty-something woman of towering strength. She supports me with a bulwark of faith, hope, and love that lends such buoyancy to my sometimes heavy-laden shoulders, that I know I will never fall with her to back me up. Such is the nature of my companion, whose faithfulness and love stretches into the distant horizon, as apparently infinite as our Savior's love, the source from whence it sprang.

It is Life--with its curve-balls and earth-shattering moments--that proves such love, wringing it out of us, forcing it to flee from the abstract theoretical sphere into the solid realm of real experience. And that, in the end, is a gift worth paying for, even if the price at times seems very high.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wife Rule #116: I Kid You Not

"I was looking at Dawn today, and I noticed that she has absolutely beautiful eyes," my wife gushed to me recently. "I always knew that Dawn has my eyes," she continued. That's true. People have been telling my wife that so often since Dawn's birth that there was no room for disputing that fact. And then she reached her conclusion: "That means that my eyes are beautiful too!"

No kidding.

How many hundreds of times have I told her that over the last fourteen years? Hasn't she noticed how many times I find myself staring shamelessly into her wide, innocent, eyes? Doesn't she know that looking into her eyes is like being immersed in the deep blue expanse of the sea? Like gazing into the light-filled heavens on a moonless night? Like being warmed by candlelight in winter? Like the visions of color created by sunlight streaming through stained glass cathedral windows? Like being captured and held frozen by such breathtaking beauty that you are rendered utterly helpless? Like beholding incarnate kindness and unbounded grace? Like glimpsing the very wonder of eternity?

Yes, dear. Your eyes.