A New Year Greeting
Daylight came slowly on January 5, 2013, at 7:00 A.M. it was still nearly dark. I hoped it might rain or even snow, because the drought in mid Missouri persists, with the shrinking rivers and streams there is an anxiousness within me, even though I know God will provide more water, I pray for it now! I rose from bed more slowly than the arrival of moisture to my place in Missouri. I felt legitimate as a senior citizen, sight of myself in the bathroom mirror after a visit to the dermatologist, was a bit shocking. I was looking pretty old, gray whiskers, scabbed up face and skin that now needs lotions and potions to temporarily smooth it out, was a rather ugly sight, but I felt no pain and was planning to fish at Coffman Beach, Lake Ozark today, even if I had to go alone.
Yes, I have said in my letters to Samuel that I believe every hour a man spends fishing adds a day to his life, but I should also stress that every hour should include sun block! In-spite of feeling a bit lonely and looking old. I felt strangely peaceful, content and close to God this morning. I descended stairs, proceeded into the family room, and stopped at the back door window. In the six pane window hangs the hand craft of my daughter, a red laced heart, and of my grandmother, a crocheted cross. I dreamed of my grandmother Martin’s funeral last night, it was so strange, because what I could barely remember when I was awake was vivid in my dream. I shook off the memory of the sad dream, by framing the heart over the cross against a snowy landscape. After I imagined my back yard as a painting, I moved on to the kitchen and started the morning coffee. I believe it was a smell and the sight of snow from the kitchen window that transported me to my grandparent McKinney’s farm house kitchen many years ago. I was a boy in the country again and could smell the wood cook stove. All was immaterial as I was in and out of my actual place. I moved out of the kitchen, into the garage where pet dogs Coco and Maddie slept. The milk barn heater that was a comfort for them triggered another memory of the milk barn of my boyhood, and there was another moment of synchrony, as I remembered a post on Face book for my cat loving wife Michelle and cousin Anne McKinney Oberg. The images I have found to amuse them are always cats and the most recent, a milking scene illustrated how my uncle Bill could do the same as the farmer in my Fb post, that is: milk a cow and squirt the mouth of a cat waiting for the treat. I fed the dogs and felt a bit more comfort as I provided their food, then I went outside. I was far away in my imagination, but still standing with cold feet on my back porch. I stood in the brisk morning air, under the roof where I cooked fish for friends.
Standing there, I remembered watching “Trouble With the Curve” and playing catch with my uncle Bill. The film Michelle selected last night was another facet of the synchrony I am feeling as I write this message. This wonderful film about a rapidly aging pro baseball scout and his lawyer daughter was most interesting to me. Maybe it was the great and thought provoking script that entangled in my subconscious mind and triggered the dream that saddened me, I do not know, but anxious thoughts were replaced by a realization of love for my children and wife and friends. The positive feelings were consistent with hope they find time for their old man of the sea, and I am resolute to change my fishing plans if need be, to spend time with any of them!
Maybe it was helping my daughter pack again or the fact my son will soon move his family, and grandson Samuel to a foreign land that was woven into my dreams, I do not know, but this morning my spirit changed for the better as I resumed reading “One Thousand Gifts”.
And there came a sudden urge to check Face book. Synchrony with the material world and my elevated spirit flowed in a way that only the eyes of my soul could see. I remembered a reply to a friend about a calling he was feeling, I read again my words to a Fb friend named Pat, more synchrony? My son’s name is also Pat.
Of the multitude of people who really never experience what you are experiencing, please know you are blessed to be one who may enter through the proverbial narrow gate! The popular culture of our time is a very broad gate and can definitely lead to destruction.
What is described in Philippines 4: 6-9, a peace that surpasses all understanding, by Grace, is true. Positive influences upon a downcast spirit seem to come from a calling! The more we seek the more we find. List your blessings and you will become aware of more, rather than run out of things to be thankful for!
I have learned from friends like “Old Paul” and by reading letters of to Apostle Paul to Timothy, that gratitude is the secret to contentment. I write letters to an infant grandson and to all of my friends and I post them on this website because of my desire to share my joy for life and for them!
I am learning that what appears on the surface of things can be perceived most differently through the eyes of the soul and I am in better synchrony with His spirit because of these things.
I thought about the performance of Clint Eastwood in “Trouble With the Curve” and compared his acting to roles, over a long and colorful career. I reflected about my colorful career as an artist, teacher, father and friend. The essence of what the great apostle said is in perfect synchrony as I conclude this letter: “While the outer man diminishes, the inner man increases.” Not my spirit but a spirit of Christ moves in such a miraculous way!
I hope His spirit that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in 2013, Happy New Year!