This picture is in the monthly publication of Kentucky Living, an advertisement for the state fair.
I can’t decide if this is funny or sad. I have determined that some things so odd in April this year are now the prevailing situation, a standard by which we are being asked to live. And that, I’m sure, is sad.
As I consider how the latest changes and the completely different are the new normal, I count things in my life that are anchored and familiar.
The blue sky and white puffy clouds have been especially beautiful this August. I’ve notice them more, perhaps, looking for lovely where I can find it. And lovely is everywhere if we have eyes to see.
Morning glories wind their way around deck posts. The purples come up with abandon, and I must pull some to keep them controlled. Yet, their beauty wakens the day for me.
This year I have two other varieties. Tie Dye morning glory seeds were given to me by a good friend and fellow gardener a few years ago. They flourish and are blooming furiously. I think of my friend when I see them, her good and honest friendship.
The simple flowers of summer’s end, zinnias, cocks comb, morning glory, signal the coming fall. I reflect on the seasons’ unbroken constancy, and it brings comfort.
Schools are in session, and though it is nothing like 2019 for staff, teachers and students, the routine of buying supplies, making preparation and digging into studies is part of family life. Seeing the racks of folders, markers and pencils at Walmart bring a nostalgia, and I want to buy a new notebook.
This morning I talked on the phone with my long-time prayer partner at 6:30 am. It is our weekly practice. We both marvel at God’s plan to give us this partnership and the tenacity to hang on for so many years. We admit it is a God thing and grace for sure. This weekly blessing is not affected by quarantines, and we count it pure joy.
My six-year old neighbor visited us yesterday. He is full of conversation and has the busy energy of boyhood. He is sunshine to Sweet William and me. I watched him come and remembered how our grandchildren used to meander through the same field, stopping to examine a flower or insect, how they waved their hello and good-bye. His presence in our lives and in the house next door is an exceptional gift.
While life seems to change weekly, so much of it strange, uncomfortable, even fearful, there remains an unchanging quality in the presence of God through the beauty of nature, the kindness of friends, the love we share with others, family bonds, an honest conversation, and a trusted companion.
God is still on the throne of all creation. He has not abdicated His sovereignty. He works in the quiet places of hearts. He hears our prayers, and He answers according to His perfect will.
The constancy of my Father in Heaven holds me together when I think I may be falling apart or losing my ability to cope with this crazy world. He is the Faithful One, the same yesterday, today, forever.
Always and forever beyond any normal.