Friday, August 17, 2012

Close enough to touch

We took a new friend of Asherel's kayaking yesterday. I know I am going to love Ann Marie- when she glanced back at me kayaking behind her, she saw my umbrella hat. I had slipped it on after the girls had started off on their kayaks. Teens can be funny about being seen with old ladies wearing umbrellas on their head. I didn't want to scare this sweet friend off too quickly.

But Ann Marie cried out, "Oh what a gorgeous hat! I want one!"
My kind of girl.

It was just the respite from life's struggles I needed. The girls loved the river, the kayaking, the swimming, the eating lunch while bobbing on their boats. And I went tooling along the shore line, keeping them in sight but hunting for interesting flora and fauna in my cute little kayak. That is how I spotted the Copperhead snake floating just off shore in a tangle of twigs. At first, I responded as I always respond when I see a snake. I recoiled and gasped. He was close enough to touch, had I been foolish enough to do so. But then I decided I was completely safe in my kayak and I floated nearby and just watched him. I took some pictures to show the girls.

"Guess what I just saw along the shore?" I asked them.
"I'm scared," said Ann Marie, even before I showed her the photo. I guess it was obvious from my tone that it was not a cute and fuzzy creature. When the girls saw the photo, Ann Marie said, "Let's go see it! Want to, Asherel?"
They were frolicking on the overturned flat kayak, so both of them sat on the back of the overturned kayak and paddled behind me to the snake. However, when the snake saw them coming, it quickly slithered back to shore and was gone. That is why I don't worry too much about the snakes. I know they are out there, but they are more afraid of me (impossibly) than I am of them.

I stopped in on Mom K after kayaking. She was having a good day. She had just seen Elvis, who had visited the Home, and she told me that, "The older women really enjoyed dancing with him."
The older women? I guess at age 88, she still thinks of herself as a spring chicken.
"It was really quite fun," she told me.
I don't think I have heard her use the word 'fun' in ten years. Then I showed her the video of my sister Amy's grandbaby laughing while Amy said, "Blablabla," to him. Both Mom K and I were laughing till tears flowed watching the funny, happy baby. I had wondered if I would ever see her laugh again.

I guess surprise, and delight, and fun, and laughter is always within our grasp. Sometimes it feels like it is gone forever. But days like yesterday remind me, Heaven is within everyone's reach. Not always, but sometimes it feels close enough to touch, and unlike the Copperhead, this is something I'd want to touch.

Deuteronomy 30:11-16 (NIV)
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. [12] It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” [13] Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” [14] No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. [15] See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. [16] For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

-save a dog-

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