The news sears its images into my head and slices my heart into tiny little pieces. Twenty six of them to be exact. The concrete steps that led them towards Light are now darkened by the shadow of death. As a hallelujah chorus began to ring out, the sound of gunfire drowned it out, bullets spraying over a congregation that would exchange their celebration song for cries of mercy.
Lying mangled on the floor are lives and hope extinguished.
And we rush to make sense of it all. To tidy it up and put a label on it so that we can process it and move on. We’re always so ready to move on.
Our giant oak tree came down today.
The city sent out a crew, on our request, to take out the gigantic tree that sits near the road and is eating into our driveway. Standing on our sidewalk, all you can see for blocks is an army of trees lining the boulevard, standing tall and proud, keeping guard like a watchman.
It’s a beautiful stretch of foliage that in the summer gives way to a canopy of lush green leaves and in the fall, with the late afternoon sun gently resting on them, takes your breath away with the dazzling hues of crimson red, golden yellow and burnt orange. Honestly, I will miss the grand old oak. But we have had too many close calls and several accidents involving people trying to back out of our driveway. It was starting to impede with everyday life.
I love getting gifts. Some of my favorite gifts to get are little things that don’t cost very much money but that I rarely buy for myself. A magazine on fashion or decorating, a bottle of new nail polish or a new Starbucks mug from their “You Are Here” series.
But to tell the truth, what I love almost as much as the gift itself is the way it’s packaged. I love things that are presented beautifully and lovingly. That can mean a simple piece of twine wrapped around a magazine or a cute little chalkboard tag attached to it. One of my favorite gifts I ever received was packaged in a brown paper sack, threaded at the top with some twine and tied into a tidy little bow. Inside was tea, a bag of fresh cherries & some chocolate. It was so simple and so thoughtful.
“Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things…”
A couple of weekends ago we traveled up north to our old stomping grounds of Hibbing, MN. As soon as we turned onto Hwy. 53 a receiving line of pine trees appeared and welcomed us, gently guiding us north toward our destination. If there is a stretch of road that holds more memories for my husband & I than this, I am unaware of it. The 30 plus mile stretch would tell stories of
I have made it almost 4 decades without the date July 16th evoking any real emotion in me. But this year there is a somber angst in my soul. This year, the anniversary of the Vel d’Hiv Roundup haunts me like a heavy regret. I find myself staring at black and white photographs of people being dragged from their homes, corralled like cattle into buses that would land them, along with thousands of other innocent
victims, imprisoned in the Velodrome for the next week with very little food or water and without lavatories.