in a boat out at sea

June 20, 2022

It occurred to me this afternoon, while roaming the poolside with on of the newer nieces on my hip, that the pleasure of the moment was largely due to the fact that I had no agenda with her—no devious intent to measure her head circumference, count out her heartbeats with my stethoscope, or invade her privacy with a small thermometer . . . no agenda.

And in fact, this day has been a lesson in the same. I tend to expect some sort of pivotal lightbulb moments when there are annual gathering, and my level of inner anticipation this time around was extra amped up due to the new absence of my GramBea for this Father’s Day tradition. But somehow the afternoon passed in a state of calm un-noteworthiness that felt almost anticlimactic; except for the fact that it was, well, perfect.

At one point, I asked the hostess if I could help with anything else and she said that, no, she was done and we were expected to just enjoy each other’s company. So I stifled the urge for productivity and did just that.

I laid on a pool float and “splashed on” poor laughing nieces.

I lost a competition with my brother over conquering the challenge of standing on the bodyboard.

I chitchatted about nothing of consequence.

And then I hugged folks goodbye and we drove back home for the evening chores.

That was it.

Hugging one cousin, I asked him how he had been since this the last I’d seen him. “Better than I deserve,” he said, with a grin.

I grinned back, and wished more of the world operated with such a mentality.

Today I listened to a song that I love, but haven’t heard in a long time. 

You belong among the wildflowers

You belong in a boat out at sea

Sail away, kill off the hours

You belong somewhere you feel free

Our towering sunflowers came to mind. 

I brought a bouquet of them for the front of the sanctuary this morning and, during worship, noticed that one woman was pointing the the flowers, whispering to another as she did so.

After the service, I walked over to her with the jar of flowers and, rather abruptly, said, “Please, take these”

Her mouth dropped open a bit and she stammered, “You don’t know how much this means to me . . . you won’t believe this, but I was just telling Jane about how amazing sunflowers are. Did you know that they follow the sun?”

I smiled and told her that yes, I watch my sunflower heads gazing at the sun. Boldly claiming its glory.

It begs that ancient question: how smart are we, really, compared to those “lilies of the field”?

One Response to “in a boat out at sea”

  1. Cathy said

    You capture the peace of the moment beautifully

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