Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Holy Place

I had spent the weekend, as most mothers do, caring for the needs of my family, chauffeuring Asherel to her agility trial and spending the day helping her so all she'd need to do is focus on her agility runs, then coming home to laundry, cleaning, cooking, organizing, complaining....you all know the routine. Our full slot of homeschool activities kick in over the next two weeks, and our days are already long- we rarely finish before dinner time. I needed some recharging to go the distance.

What I really wanted was some peaceful time alone, not caring for anyone's needs but my own. Still, I asked my family if they would like to go kayak. They were busy with their own recuperation from a long week, and Asherel snored, "Nooooo...." and Arvo only grimaced.  I didn't ask twice.  I ignored the explicit warning on my boat tag, "Never paddle alone", and independently hauled the kayak into the back of the van and shot off all alone to the nearby lake, quickly before someone changed their mind.  This lake is small and safe, and always has a few people on it, so I had no concerns for my safety. I would've preferred the Catawba River but decided to settle for this closer and safer adventure.

The van echoed in its emptiness as I drove. I listened happily to silence. I backed up to the lake, hauled the kayak the few feet into the water, and within moments, was gliding along the shore. A butterfly drew a shimmering path across the blue sky. Cicadas hummed, and the leaves rustled with birds.  Turtles splashed to safety as I skimmed near.  A little mantra kept circling in my head, "I am happy, happy, happy. Thank you for this lovely world."

I had no great revelations, and no deep thoughts. I quietly exulted in the glorious beauty of the trees along the shore, the rippling water sparkling in the warm sunshine, the silence of the lake, and the peaceful aloneness in the midst of God's creation. My soul longs for the quiet beauty of nature, but is more often thrust in a world of roads, and cars, and noise.  I would not have thought it possible, but I didn't think of a single thing I had to do or a single responsibility or worry waiting for me when I returned to the onslaught of life.  I just glided along in my kayak with an empty head and a full heart.

Psalm 134:2-3 (NIV)
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord. [3] May the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.

Exodus 15:13 (NIV)
"In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.

Ezra 9:8 (NIV)
"But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.

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