When they were still a half hour away, he stood up and began pacing. Then he lay down in front of the front door, and watched. I don't know how he knew they were coming, but he clearly did. When my daughter and son-in-law arrived, I asked how the cruise was.
That was all the talk about the cruise. The next hour was spent regaling all the tales of my time with Ragnar. There is no doubt who had the most fun Christmas!
I made him a special breakfast for his going home party. He was grateful. Before he left, I gave him a biscuit, which he took to the back yard and buried. I think that was his way of telling me he would be back.
Many friends on Facebook were sad yesterday. Family that had gathered were now gone. People returned to work. All that was left was the wrapping paper overflowing the trash bins, and dried pine needles littering the floor.
I vacuumed. As soon as Ragnar and my daughter left, I took down all the Christmas decorations. Then I vacuumed the fur balls, the pine needles, and the dust from a week of doing nothing but playing with a great dog. I did three loads of wash. I pulled all the blankets off the couches which I had placed so Ragnar could sleep on them and feel welcomed in our home.
Something clattered to the floor. A dog biscuit, buried in the couch in the folds of the blanket shaken loose. A little thank you gift from Ragnar for our season of rejoicing together the abundance of God's provision. A Christmas week that had threatened to be lonely had been salvaged.
C.S. Lewis said, "We believe that the sun is in the sky at midday in summer not because we can clearly see the sun (in fact, we cannot) but because we can see everything else."
God's existence is manifest not because I have laid eyes directly on Him, but because His mercy, grace, and love surround me in visible abundance, like Ragnar's drifting tufts of fur. As the families all disperse from their gatherings back to their separate worlds, many are heaving sighs over the impermanence of earthly joy.
All good things on earth do come to an end, but not God.