Wednesday, July 15, 2009

He is not afraid...

My love will sail this ship
through great storms and ice floes.
He is not afraid as I am,
he is not afraid.
And this is why he knows the way.
And this is why he knows the way.
He knows the way.

- “Migration,” The Innocence Mission

Dutch and I took the girls for a walk after dinner this evening.

The days are so hot that we waited until it was almost sunset before we put little Evie in the Baby Bjorn pressed up close against her Daddy’s chest. Audrey was given permission to select two babies – tonight it was Bella and Betsy – to stroll around in her little miniature stroller (thanks, Nanny!).

The sky was lit up in every possible color. Gold. Orange. Vermillion. Lavender. Violet. And (my favorite) flamingo pink! As we walked through our neighborhood we were dwarfed by a spectacular view of the Catalina mountains. Every second the light changed as another brilliant color cast itself across the wide expanse of sky, altering the look and texture of every cloud. Dark silhouettes of saguaros dotted the horizon… An occasional bird swooped and soared above our heads. Everything was still and glistening in the half-light.

In such moments of unspeakable beauty it is easy to see why countless poets and painters have tried and failed to capture the extraordinary and yet commonplace beauty of a sunset… “I have never seen a realistic painting that comes close to doing this justice,” I said. Dutch agreed. “There is just no way to capture it is there.”

… God truly is the Master Artist.

I looked down at my daughters. Beautiful little beings. At only five weeks old, Evangeline is already so full of whimsy: “Trailing clouds of glory did she come / From God, who is [her] home…” With her jet black hair, olive skin and dark blue eyes, she reminds me of a magic creature escaped from some nearby lily pond. Wordsworth was right: “Heaven truly lies about us in our infancy.”

And Audrey – precious Audrey – is so full of things to say. ‘Bella disobedient; Bella go time out!’ she exclaimed in that quintessential tone of a big sister. ‘Watch out, mommy; car coming! Go to the side!”

A twig cracked. Audrey started.‘What’s that noise, Mom? What’s that?’ she asked. We turned just in time to see the white cotton tail of a jack rabbit dart through the desert brush and disappear. ‘Where’d he go Mom? Where’d he go?’ I explained that even bunnies must go home for dinner. Audrey’s lower lip jutted out an acrobatic distance. “Oooooohh,” she moaned and her head began to wag. “He going home. Not… not stay here. He going home eating his dinner.”

My heart almost burst with joy - that deep down and welling over feeling of satisfaction and well-being. It was deeper than any I have experienced before. Here we were. A family. Together. Healthy. Loving each other…

Then in crept an unwanted voice of fear: It can’t last… said the voice.

My eyes welled with tears. "What if...something tragic happens," I told Dutch. "What if I lose one of you. Or we live to see a nuclear holocaust. Iran and North Korea would love to see us go up in smoke!"

Dutch laughed.

"Hey," I said and socked him in the arm. "I can't help but feel that moments like these are just too good. Somewhere an ax must be about to fall…”

He put his strong arm around me. “Woman,” he said, his voice full of affection. “You can’t think like that. You’re right, we don’t know the future. Anything can happen. But we do know that God is good. Just look at what incredible gifts He is allowing us to enjoy right now! He is in control and we have nothing to fear.”

(Or as Oogway the Turtle says in “Kung Fu Panda:” “You are too concerned with what was and what will be. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift; that's why it's called the present.")

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