A.M. Wanderlust

3-13-11

 

James woke up in our bed this morning, and he refused to get out of it.

So I take his older brother, Henry, to the kitchen, where I drizzle some honey on his cereal. The sky is dark and the coffee takes too long. After packing his snack for kindergarten, I guide him through the rest of his morning routine.

With so much patience.

He wants to know if his teeth are clean. Can he wear a different shirt? Did I remember to send money for the Halloween Dance? He wants to wear a different pair of shoes.

“Daddy, it's just that I wore these shoes yesterday. And the day before that.”

We're all dying from the monotony, it seems.

And then I wonder how James is coping with his morning. I open the door. The room's dark. I can't see him, but I hear a voice.

“Daddy?” he calls. “I hear an airplane.”

His voice is soft like pyjamas. He's lying on his back, but his imagination has already crossed a few continents. Quite possibly, he's already had his breakfast with Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker.

“Yes,” I tell him, “I hear the plane, too.”

I take a seat beside him. And as we listen to this moving hum, I kind of remember how a little imagination before breakfast makes for a nicer way to travel.

 

Coffee With Gary

I met Pastor Gary Miller last week at a nearby coffee shop. Isaiah 30 came up. He said he would be preaching on it next Sunday. That might be why our conversation centered around the battle imagery.

Either way, we gathered around a kind of flagpole, confessing our rebellion and oppression.

We talked about the difficult paths. Those behind us. And those ahead.

Here, Gary turns and leans his back against the brick wall. His white hair is long, tousled over like a prophet’s. He keeps that dark jacket on, but not because he’s anxious to leave. He simply sat down and wore what he came here wearing.

Gary is that kind of guy.

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Super Bowls, Plates, and Trophies

When we arrived downtown, the fog was thick. Later that night, while we slept, the wind and rain hammered at two sides of the hotel.

And yet hundreds of conference attendees, the next morning, still drink coffee like strangers. 

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Reading and Writing

My four year-old sits quietly in the pew with his pen and paper. All around him, the sanctuary is dark and full of mystery. 
 
His slow hand moves and concentrates across the space and centimeters of paper. I hear deep, unspoken conversations taking place between him and the lines and shapes. 
 
He works like a surgeon, speaks from behind a mask. On my side of childhood, words can get lost here.

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The Strength of Wind and Water

My sneakers kicked a path through the walnuts and conkers. My feet cut through brittle leaves and marrow-less sticks, stirring up dry, airy echoes, which snapped or crumbled into the broken black earth.

Before dusk, my family went for a slow walk through the woods. From time to time, I snuck in a little deeper. I went ahead or off to the side.

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Praying With Bill

Meet Bill. Bill likes kids. Bill likes our kids. Our kids really like Bill.

And, now, I really like Bill, too.

Bill’s a praying mantis. I met Bill Saturday. I brought Bill inside to meet my family. We had a great time. We decided to keep Bill.

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