Monday, December 17, 2012

Dateline and the Majesty of God

My birthday was last week. So my husband and I decided to take a long weekend and drive down to the Lake of the Ozarks. It’s our favorite time to go down there because it is so quiet. In this large condo complex, we were one of three people there.

We rented movies and I played with my art stuff on the floor, making a little fort of art supplies. I worked with acrylic paint, and used steel wool as a method of scrapping off the paint. I glued together several sheets of a paper bag. My plan was to carve out a tree for a mini canvas (more about that next week). We did a little shopping and we ate at roadside restaurants in little towns along a Missouri state highway. If that had been the entirety of our trip, it would have been a great birthday.
Around a quarter to midnight on my birthday, I get a text from my youngest daughter. Texts at this time of night are usually not glad tidings; more likely they are news of a stalled car, accident or some other unpleasantness. But not tonight; tonight, she wanted me to go outside and watch a meteor shower. So, I get out of bed (husband grunts slightly and the dog looks at me with an annoyed expression) and go outside. Mind you, I am in yoga paints, a t-shirt and no shoes. I felt a sense of urgency to get out into the night to see what she was seeing.

I found a dark spot and watched. Below me is the lake is still. Above me is a star filled sky. All around me is a deep, cold quiet.

I watched objects from outside our earth fall into the atmosphere, always falling fast, leaving a long streak behind them. Everything was so clear, so quiet. My daughter and I were sharing this moment, even though she was hundreds of miles away.

But I also learned something about myself. I cannot be still. Standing barefoot on the concrete, I would look into the sky and think about the majesty of God and then look over my shoulder to make sure that I was still alone. I would think of how beautiful this was and then images of every Dateline I had ever seen ran through my head. Look up at the sky; look over my shoulder. Thinking about how far the starlight had travelled to reach me at this moment; thinking about how this would be the perfect setting for a Stephen King story.

When it seemed the light show was over and I could no longer feel my feet, I went back inside. That text and experience was a great and thoughtful gift. Here’s hoping the next midnight text is just as great.
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