Snow Bundles

As the snow continues to fall in the middle of this “snow event” I am listening to a wonderful chorus by a little bird chirping by my chimney.  It’s probably sitting on the branches of my forsythia bush as it provides a lovely accompaniment to the flurries floating to the garden patch below it.  Somewhere deep beneath the ground the roots probably want to know, “Was yesterday’s warm glow a true promise of spring, or just a peek? Why are these snowy drops icing my tips?”

Dusty is rolling about on the carpet at my feet, intent on drying the remaining bits of snow from his back and belly.  Despite having a neatly cleared trail before him, he pounced about in the snow like a little rabbit, he snuck through the rose bushes, circled round the fire pit and flung himself towards the snow-covered leaf piles near the wolf willows.  So needless to say, when he was finally ready to go back inside, he had sported a pile of snow bundles hanging all over him.  His little whiskers had a white, smushy mess crusted on them, while his paw pads had crushed snow sticking firmly between them.

“Come here you little snowball,” I said as he gleefully jumped up for a quick toweling.  However, his idea of quick was even briefer than mine, and off he dashed down the hardwood floor and into the family room before I could even try to catch him.

So here we are. He’s rolling about with his snow bundles, as I sit by the fireplace being serenaded by a bird in the forsythia bush at the foot of our chimney. Outside my window all the spruce trees have that gorgeous look like gobs of white icing have been plopped onto a decorated Christmas scene.  Of course in December this would be a winter wonderland.  Today for some it might be misconstrued as a March mess.  To me it’s a gift in a moment in time, on a March day in Springbank, Alberta.

Hmmm… maybe I should turn on my dryer since we strategically planted the forsythia bush directly in front of the dryer vent.  This provides some blasts of warmth for my favourite spring bush to at least try to bloom its delicate yellow flowers.  I usually gratefully accept that the struggling blossoms on the bottom branches have come forth to take an opening bow, but provide only a short preview of what might happen.

Like Dusty, shaking off the snow bundles, I’ve decided to enjoy the March surprise.  I turn on my dryer; sending some pleasant breezes to surround the performance unfolding outside my laundry window, and then I settle back in my chair to listen to the concert.  I picture the forsythia’s blossom buds resting, as the snow bundles on the branches above, giving some sources of moisture to the roots below.  A cold and refreshing drink after a warm Chinook wind will probably send some encouragement below, some reassurance that March holds the coming of spring.

The song has ended, a simple reprise of intermittent chirps flows through the chimney walls.  Dusty has curled up in his bed for an afternoon nap.  There’s a lull in the snowfall, a silence beneath a snowy blanket.

Perhaps this is the premier of the colors of spring, a pure lusciously white snowfall, silencing the landscape, covering us with snow bundles.

Springtime’s coming…

It must be Bread Bag Time!!

As I woke up to another snowfall this morning I am thinking of the promise of spring, and for me, that always, always meant Bread Bag Time…

I twist the bread bag closing it tightly, as I carefully avoid squashing the leftover ends of the loaf.  I tuck it into a corner of the freezer, pleased that I will be ready to feed the ducks on a future visit to the park.  For a moment I picture a bright, sunny afternoon by the edges of a pond, as ducks scurry to grab a piece of bread I toss their way.  By my side is Dusty, my little dog, balancing on his hind legs as he watches them from a safe distance.  His instinctive reaction is to raise himself higher so he can assess the situation and satisfy his cautious curiosity while wondering,

“Is that something I should explore? Should I run towards it or away from it? Will it play with me?” I can almost hear him thinking these thoughts.

I smile and sigh as I file the picture of Dusty and the ducks into the pages of my mind, just as I tucked the bread bag into its corner in the freezer.  One spring day I will unearth both of them, because if it’s spring it must be bread bag time.  Yes, if it is spring, I can close my eyes and I can feel a bread bag flopping by the side of my legs as I skip along the banks of a stream. I can hear the water gurgling around the rocks and fallen branches. I can smell the muddy areas hiding under last fall’s leaves, waiting for me to slip and slide in their musty depths.  Yes, if it is spring, I can travel back in time to bread bag time with my Dad, when we would scout the stream for the best place to fish on the opening day of trout fishing season.

Every year Dad would grab the bags of leftover bread scraps from the freezer and we’d go for a walk by the stream that flowed through and around our small town.  The local fish and game unit stocked the stream with new trout every year before the start of the fishing season.  Dad said he could predict where the greater numbers of trout would gather by taking his family for a fish walk.  My sister and I eagerly followed my Dad with our prized bread bags clutched in our hands.  It didn’t matter to us where we were going, as long as we could swing our bags around, toss in a few crumbs to find the fish, and watch them break the surface of the water to grab the tasty treats.

It was Spring and it was bread bag time!

Sometimes I would forget and I would break off a large clump of bread instead of the tiny pieces Dad instructed us to throw.  The clump would float along, a fish might pop up to nibble at it but the clump didn’t disappear like the tiny pieces did.  The fish were hungry but they didn’t mistake a large clump of bread for a water bug. They might be curious and want to see what it was, but they would find out that it didn’t bounce on the water like the tiny pieces did.  I learned that fish were cautious about something new and different.

Looking back, I remember placing my feet as close to the stream bank as possible so I could throw the crumbs to entice the fish.  Sometimes I stood on my tiptoes to increase the reach of my throw.  My sister often ventured out on a small rock or a fallen log so she could make her toss.  I remember I tried to follow her one-year as she hopped across to a small patch of ground in the middle of the stream.  Instead of landing safely I slid down plopping noisily into the water, and frightening the fish away. This resulted in smelly, squishy sneakers for the remainder of the fish walk.  I learned that rushing along without thinking didn’t necessarily bring about the best results!

As I grew older, I realized that the fish walk didn’t actually determine Dad’s choice of where he would fish on opening day.  In fact, Dad usually fished in the same spot each year.  When I asked him why he had taken us on an annual fish walk if he intended on returning to the same spot he merely replied,

“I liked watching your excitement as you were throwing in the crumbs.  Every time a fish popped to the surface of the water you both thought you had won a prize.”

As I look forward to the coming Spring I invite you to join me in getting ready for the bread bag ritual. May it be a reminder to look for new ideas or approaches to what is happening in our lives.  Perhaps you are facing a career change, or a move to a new place.  Perhaps you are experiencing a transition in your life with children, parents, your spouse, or with a new challenge.  Perhaps you will discover an opportunity to explore ways to serve others, or how to develop a new or older friendship.

Lets take out those bread bags that we have saved and tucked away so carefully.  Maybe we’ve pushed a few hopes and wishes into a corner, but the new days of Spring might help us to test the waters once again.  We can toss a few crumbs onto the surface, and we can attempt to gain a better understanding of what will happen.  Sometimes we might be like a clump of bread not seen for who or what we truly are, sometimes we might fall down before we even have a chance to toss in our ideas, or we might make an overwhelming splash and lose the chance to make a difference.  Fortunately, we all have the opportunity to renew ourselves, our relationships and our reactions to each new phase of life.  Springtime comes; we all can dig out our bread bags, we can hope for a few prizes to pop to the surface of our everyday walks, and we can find the excitement we have to give to others as a response to what life brings to us.

Ah spring, and the simple ritual of the bread bag.  I look forward to my upcoming days with Dusty at the park.  I imagine we will take a walk, we will stop and I will throw some bread to the ducks at the water’s edge.  Dusty will rise up on his hind legs, eagerly walking closer while trying to determine what he should do next.  I’ll be waiting for the prizes to pop, as the bread bag flops against my leg, walking along the water’s edge.

Diamonds all along the way!

Diamonds all along the way, diamonds beckoning me to reach down and scoop up their glittering beauty, to toss them over my head so that they shower me with cascading rivulets of bouncing, dancing lights.  Diamonds all along the way, lining the side of the road, sparkling from the tips of every stalk of grass, glinting in the morning sun, shimmering just beyond my windshield, frosted diamonds darting, dazzling like a strand of flickering strobe lights.  I could almost hear them resounding in their glory, following me like a crescendo up the crest of the hill.  Diamonds, albeit frozen icicle diamonds caught in the rays of the sun as it beamed across the fields, diamond icicles all along the way, lining the road on my drive toward the highway.  Could there be anything better than diamonds in the morning to begin my day?

The sun often strikes boldly on my morning drives sweeping with broad strokes, forcing its light with intense heat and glare, sending me to grab my sunglasses and slam down my sun visor so that I can drive without swerving into the ditch.  But sometimes the finest slivers of ice slide on the surface of the frozen grass and intercept the striking sun, sending its radiance into a fine sheen, broken apart into reflective, radiant sun diamonds.

Not mined, not purchased, not selected, simply given, softly presented, waiting to be seen, signaling to be known.  Sun diamonds all along the way, lining the road, highlighting the start of a new day.

And oh how I need it to be a new day, Lord.  After yesterday’s lurches and spins and topsy-turvy, round-and-round we go movements.  The vertigo hit like a vengeance yesterday, unruly, unexpected and unwelcome.  As I tackled an organization project long overdue, I ruthlessly tossed away papers and folders, turning to this corner and then to that one, removing the old, setting up the new, swiveling about… whoa one too many times.  Then the room lurched like a ship on the lost seas caught in a maelstrom of steep waves tossing it high and low.  Vertigo lurches and lunges that wouldn’t stop despite the medication, or regardless of a regrouping position on a comfy couch or a restful bed.  Oh well, the merry-go-round never stops!

I almost decided to give up this blog over the last few weeks.  I couldn’t find the words, or perhaps the words wouldn’t find me in the middle of the constant spinning, twirling descent.  I felt lost, I had to keep blinking or I might close my eyes and spin out into a black hole.  This I suppose has been the closest I have come to filling out the dance card of depression since this vertigo came into my life over a year ago.  Constant heartfelt prayer, consistent faith and trust in an ever present Lord, continual inspiring and uplifting music, captivating family and friends who bring laughter and daily joy… these have been my stocked supply of artillery against the assault of frustration.

And then today, the Diamonds appeared.  I imagine  scooping them one, by one, by one.  Scooping them and pouring them over me so that as they melt they  seep into my very being, reaffirming the steadiness of my soul.

Maybe I swerve and sway on the outside but I am grounded and rooted within.  Diamonds from the fingers of God pour deep into my soul and steady my heart day in and day out. Like the diamonds found in the earth these solidify into enduring strength and hidden treasure.  Like the sun that slipped onto the dewy grass, these diamonds slide into place within me and build up on top of each other. I picture these diamonds lodging into place, sending forth their light, their reflections darting about, throughout and within me.

Light up diamonds, shoot your beams into the corners of my spinning mind.  Like a laser strike the vertigo at its source, zap it into oblivion and illuminate my brain so it will compensate for the mixed up messages it receives.

One more thought:  Maybe this diamond message speaks loudly to all of us.  Aren’t we all hidden treasures of resilient, refined strength?  Don’t we have within us the ability to reflect outward to others despite our unbalanced situations?  Truly isn’t that all we need to do, everyday, in as many ways as possible?  Just let the diamonds shine…

May we all have…

Diamonds all along the way, every day!

Hand in Hand…

While sifting through photographs of my son to find ones that I can put into a special presentation at his wedding rehearsal dinner, I come across a few depicting his hand inside mine.  Immediately I can feel that sure little slide, as he would tuck into the tightness of my grasp. I suddenly laugh as I recall the way he pushed it firmly into place and then waited for me to tug him along.  Christopher liked to find reassurance that I wouldn’t let him go.
Perhaps it began as we walked to the neighborhood pond to feed the fish, and gather rocks.  We would fill our sand buckets with stones we thought suitable for painting.  He and his brother Donald carefully chose what they hoped would soon become masterpieces on our kitchen table, when they wielded their watercolor brushes. Maybe the weight of what he had to drag home caused him to instinctively wait for me to give a little pull as we trekked up the hill.

Perhaps it happened at the skating rink where he couldn’t be sure if his sudden moves forward would cause crashes or glides; perhaps it felt like a supportive glove to him, one that would fit and frame his grasp so that he understood the odds of his falling had been greatly reduced.  Just a slip into my grip, a stubborn pull-back waiting for me to rein in the slack.  Oh Christopher, that determined little hand; I can still feel it squishing its way into my palm to find a snug fit.

I don’t know when he began that fascinating little ritual, and I don’t remember when he gave it up.  But the memory of how it felt to hold that precious little hand resurfaces inside me.  Despite sticky fingers, sweaty slime, or gooey gunk, when he placed his hand in mine I took it, I willingly found it a firm position and I kept it with me as long as he needed.

This summer Christopher’s much larger hand will encompass Catherine’s as they pledge their lives to one another.  Together they will reassure one another, they will fit and frame the way they accept each other’s love so that the hold they create together will survive stubborn little pull-backs, but will always seem like a gentle grip.

I am reminded of a poem I wrote to place next to my young sons’ tiny handprints:

These little hands I put right here,
So you may always have them near.
As I grow bigger, my hands will too,
One day I may have bigger hands than you!
But Mommy, I’ll always remember
the warmth and the joy,
I feel as your hands hold mine,
while I’m a little boy!

Bring on the Joy!

Six months from this weekend our family will embrace a daughter into our midst as our younger son, Christopher, marries the love of his life, Catherine.  In their honor I am proclaiming my motto for 2012, “Bring on the Joy!”

I have a vivid picture of my first meeting with Catherine when both of them were still at the University of Alberta.  Christopher had a role in a campus play, so we journeyed north to Edmonton to watch his performance.  He had told us that Catherine would attend the same show that we planned to see, so I anticipated a chance to experience the wonderful friend that Chris had described to me over the phone.  Although he had met her in a school community, it felt strange to me because I didn’t have the opportunity to be familiar with her as someone who had attended classes with Chris here in Springbank.  This unknown aspect caused a concerned and cautious aura to surround me as we arrived at the theatre.

Naturally we secured our seats early to gain a better view of the play.  I tried to focus on reading the notes about the cast, and the synopsis of the coming scenes. But as every new group of students arrived I scanned their faces searching for Catherine.  When she made her appearance I knew undoubtedly that it was she.  Christopher’s description clearly matched the young woman who moved into place below us.  The energy in the room shifted, a lilt of laughter carried a current of sheer happiness that moved my spirit into a state of delight immediately.

“She has a spontaneous personality that brightens everyone around her.  She goes head to head with my wit; she’s funny but obviously interesting and intelligent.  She sometimes bursts with enthusiasm; she’s kind and caring,” I ran through the unstoppable flow of colorful words Chris had chosen to paint a picture of her. “You’ll know it’s her by her irresistible laugh that will catch you by surprise.”

It did. The way that laughter wound its way to where I sat, I could sense that here was someone who could compliment my son’s distinctive and dramatic personality.  We didn’t even need to go through the motions of awkward introductions; I knew she had the wherewithal to rise to the challenge of loving Chris.

After the play, we did exchange greetings; we probably entertained silent questions about each other, as we stood in proximity of the unknown future; yet we began on the lilt of laughter entwining all of us into a shared experience.  With a farewell hug I sought to convey a welcome from me as well as to garner reassurance from her.  From that moment we were in this together, a mutual understanding that we both shared a young man’s heart.

Over the next few months I want to express my thoughts of my unique role as a mother of a groom from the long distance planning, to the family situations and emotions, from the details to the delights.  Through it all I want to let the laughter lift us towards a peaceful refrain, “Bring on the Joy!”

Twenty Minutes to Spare

Nana’s Loving Arms

As we begin to make wedding shower plans for our future daughter-in-law, I find that my mind wanders to the wonderful women who have left legacies of loving support in former years.  Recently some vivid memories of my dear Nana flowed forth, urging me to write the following poem:

You held me then, soft within your loving arms…
Mother always said you cupped my tiny head within your palms exclaiming,
“She’s like a little apple come to life in my hands!”
As I grew I grasped your hand when we ran amid your haphazard perennial patch.

You held me then, soft within your loving arms…
We gathered raspberries in buckets, then floured our fingers for pressing out dough.
“Don’t be afraid to give it a good pinch,” she laughed;
And her nimble fingers flew around the pan creasing a fluted edge to the pie shell.

I wrapped your apron twice around myself, hoping to cover the smallness of me,
You tucked yours neatly at your waist, and swiped a cloth over your shoulder.
“Now wipe your hands here once,” (with that PA Dutch delight!)
Pushing my hands back and forth she painted white tendrils across the calico print.

“Nana yours looks like fireflies dancing around

flowers in a purple sky!
Mine’s too big, with too much dirty flour
messing it up!”
“Here now, you take both. One for wiping,
one to dance with,”
And she wrapped her apron like
a cape around my shoulders.

You held me then, soft within your loving arms…
With pieces of pie decorating our dishes, we sat in the dusk on the porch.
I leaned close to you, tracing the darting fireflies with my purple-stained fingers.
Then chuckling, you pulled me up, my cape swung round, as fireflies blinked before us.

You held me then, soft within your loving arms…
Nana, I haven’t had you near me for many long years,
The summers of raspberry custard pie on porches lit up with fireflies,
They have passed us by, the laughing dances, the swinging apron capes.

Then this morning you came to me,

you opened your arms,
Bringing me into your presence, into your free-flowing apron love…
I feel your gentle palms around my cheeks, as you cup my face towards yours,
You hold me again, soft within the spirit of your loving arms.

Taking short steps!

I fell on black ice today because I forgot to notice the subtle shades of dark and light grey on the macadam trail.  Thankfully my knee with the titanium screw in it took the brunt of my fall.

As Dusty waited, or rather busied himself with the wondrous smells of melting snow and mud, I brushed off the dirt from my pants checking for any gravel tears.

I stepped carefully onto my leg as I muttered, “Way to check out the old ACL reconstruction.  I guess the warranty is still valid!”

Dusty and I continued on, rounding the bend on the trail and came upon an elderly gentleman walking towards us.

“Be careful of the black ice up ahead,” I warned.

I thought that he needed some guidance if he planned to follow the pathway.  Surprisingly he leaned over to me, and paused to emphasize his instructions on navigating paved paths with melted snow and hidden ice.

“You must remember to take short steps, like this,” he said, as he marched in place to illustrate.  “Then you can be ready to move into the snow or walk around the shaded areas.  If you are taking short steps, you will see where to walk.”

He emphasized this with an encouraging tap on my shoulder and a nodding look that silently said, “This is what you most need to hear right now!”

“I appreciate your suggestion,” I said, as I turned to follow Dusty’s tugs on his leash. He had discovered a dog he needed to visit at the corner of the next yard.

“Okay, short steps is,” I thought.

The gentleman was right; when I walked with purposeful short steps I looked carefully around, beside and before me, to avoid any possible areas of black ice.  When Dusty and I came up a short hill the glare of the sun prevented me from seeing what covered the path until I began to slide on it. However, my “short steps” took me quickly to the side and onto the safety of the snow.

“Short steps like this,” he had said.  He hadn’t called them little steps, and he hadn’t shown me them as timid or testing steps.  They had been short, powerful, precise steps pushed forward with energy and momentum.

Throughout this past year I’ve been forced to learn how to overcome my fear of taking any steps due to my invisible friend, vertigo appearing when I least expect.  At first I feared to make any move in any direction: upwards, downwards, sideways, forwards, backwards.  The spinning sensations reminded me of how I felt during my ACL repair recovery for my right knee, because I was afraid to rely on the strength of my leg muscles to keep me from collapsing.  I needed to believe that I wouldn’t look like a drunkard when I moved, or that I wouldn’t stumble from unsteadiness.

Even today I am aware that any step I take could cause a crumbling of circles crashing around me, just like when my knee would give out unexpectedly when I stepped on uneven surfaces or turned too quickly.

It’s a new year; I’m moving with my vertigo, I look forward to improvements everyday.  I’ve learned to take a side step before I actually turn, as that slows my movement just slightly, but enough to prevent the swirling from starting.  I’ve learned to close my eyes when someone quickly swooshes by me, and to inwardly give myself a pressure pause, checking to see if I am still firmly connected to the ground.  If I feel myself swaying I press harder, literally pushing my palms toward the floor.  I suppose these “short steps” have come to be my reliable ones and will hopefully lead me to discovering other ways around this obstacle.

I’m so very thankful I fell today.  I’m marveling that it led to my impromptu conversation with a wise and caring elder who reminded me to keep moving, but to be mindful of how I step.

“You must remember to take short steps like this… then you can be ready to move.”

Maybe I’ll have vertigo with me for a fair bit of time, but I refuse to carry fear any farther.  I trust that it is there for a reason and with faith I will learn how to step carefully around it.

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
Isaiah 48:17 (NIV)

Lord, Let me be a Love Bug!

I’ve decided to become a Love Bug!!  Perhaps not a radical shift in my thinking or approach to life, but as a visual image for simple goal setting the Love Bug idea has kept me smiling since yesterday morning.  After all New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday this year so my focus for forming a 2012 format had to be postponed until Monday.

Then I “walked around” with the idea all day, letting it sink in and fill me with a joyful perspective for the New Year.  So before Dusty and I head out for today’s walk I wanted to share my Love Bug thoughts with you:

Yesterday morning dawned as usual with a morning pause or “paws alarm” to be exact as Dusty patted his front paws on my cheeks.  As he spends the night snuggled next to me on my right side, his mornings begin with a slow stretch, followed by a purposeful crawl toward my face.  Then he gently places one of his paws on my cheeks and waits for me to acknowledge him.  Apparently sometimes I do not respond appropriately or within a reasonable timeframe, because some mornings my drowsy dreamlike state unravels into a scary scene where I am being tossed back and forth in a lifeboat while wearing a lifejacket that has a loose strap jingling and jangling against a belt buckle.  Some days I wake up wondering which ocean I’ve been swaying about in, thinking I’m going to tear off that inflatable noisemaker only to recognize the jarring sounds as the familiar “shaking for attention” dance that Dusty performs to declare his desires. He simply tosses his whole body back and forth and lets his collar and nametag serve as a loud percussion section.  In this case it means, “don’t we need to wake up now?”

Fortunately Dusty enjoys performing the “paws alarm” and generally waits patiently for me to respond to him.  Yesterday with my eyes still stuck shut, I stroked his little back and promised that I was trying to wake up.  After a few more pointed paw pats, I surprised him by trying to scoop him up as I hopped out of bed.  Of course he avoided the intended capture by leaping onto the floor and promptly signaling his delight with more vibrating moves.  That’s when the motion clicked my memory into fast rewind to the summer before I entered sixth grade.  I had a small lump removed from my upper left arm and found myself spending several days in the local hospital’s children ward.  As a consolation present my mother brought me a peculiar looking stuffed toy, called a Love Bug.  It was covered with soft, pink, fluffy hair that could be brushed into a sleek, smooth texture.  It came with specific instructions to give it loving back rubs and to groom it into an adorable stuffed pet.

To have a chance to give it a “remake” or a “new do” I could quickly turn it over, give it a good shake, flip it again and fluff it up into new furriness! The Love Bug had another chance to become a new, crazy, comforting, creation.

As always, Dusty has given a gift to me merely by seeking to communicate his own distinct desires.   His awkward way of shaking me into action has reminded me to make a different visual resolution this year.  I have determined that I may need to make a few flip-overs, to experience a bit of firm flinging back and forth, and to certainly discipline myself to do a fair amount of some detailed “fussing over” as my Southern friends would say, to become all that I hope for in 2012.  I need and want to become my vision of a Love Bug!! Whenever the mistakes occur, I will toss them into oblivion, face the future, fluffed up and ready to share in loving and meaningful ways.

Happy New Year everyone!

Love, Dusty and Dee

The Greatest Walk!

Dusty and I watched the sunrise this morning, waiting for the pink and orange streaks to sneak behind the black silhouettes of our backyard trees.  We sat silently as the darkness deliberately moved out of the way when the light pushed its presence from behind and placed itself before us.  A generous gift, a new day to begin!  We didn’t waste time; when we noticed that the thermometer noted a rising temperature, we grabbed the gift and ran with it, or rather walked with it!

Halfway down the driveway we heard some frantic yelps from coyotes in the distance.  Dusty glanced around, sniffed the closest pile of snow and promptly left his mark on top of it.  Whatever he heard, he clearly wanted to declare his dominance over it.
We resumed our walk, a haphazard tugging and pulling, zigging and zagging about the road. Dusty didn’t want to miss the tracks in the snow there, and over there, and still over in that spot there!  I didn’t want to skid across the icy patches poking through the snow. This would be the moment where, according to my dog whisperer husband Brad, I need to show who’s in charge.  That may be true, however, when I call, “Dusty,” and he looks up at me with what I know for certain is his “this is the greatest walk I have ever been on in my life” look, how can I halt his explorations?
The snowplow that cleared our road created mini snow banks, which became fascinating obstacles for Dusty to choose to climb over and fall into, literally face first. He didn’t seem to notice that he was accumulating sticky snow under his belly, along his legs, and under his chin.  He delighted in discoveries even as he became a disheveled mess.
As often as Dusty either stayed behind for a better sniff, or ran ahead for another find, I tried to maintain a steady stride and a direct route.  However I fear this little comical charade I tried to pass off as a walk probably made my neighbors chuckle as we passed their houses.
I too began to laugh to myself as I thought about the scripture I had read earlier from Psalm 139:3-5 (NLT), “You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. “
I had closed my Bible when I noticed the first light of dawn. How quickly the day began to illustrate the words I had read.  If someone noticed the walk I take with you Lord, they too might chuckle at my stubborn tugs and pulls, as I demand more time to pursue my desires and wants.  Often you see me look up to you filled with eagerness and delight as I share thankful prayers, or with worries and fears brought forth by the day.  However, I don’t take the time to listen to you, to truly understand where your gentle leadings might take me.  How often have I chosen to climb over the obstacles, to slog sloppily and stubbornly into areas that I had an inkling I shouldn’t try?  Yet you never let me go, you have walked with me keeping me on a steady and direct route. Your connection to me by your hand constantly retrieves me, finds me and takes me home.
This evening Dusty is snuggled next to me on the couch in the family room.  He plopped his head on top of my Bible as I began to type these words.

As I close this simple meditation for today, I am drawn to the beginning verses of Psalm 139, “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit down or stand up.  You know my every thought when far away.”

Thank you Lord, for always moving the darkness out of my way, for pushing your presence constantly within me, so that I may always look to you knowing that “this is the greatest walk I have ever been on in my life.”

For today, I have found my peace.