I have been restless this week. I get this way sometimes. I don’t know why yet or what I need to do. Or if there is anything that I need to do at all.
I do know that it isn’t cleaning our house – I tried that. My beloved offspring just messed up our house in 5 minutes flat! We have lots of Legos and they travel seemingly of their own volition!!! Anyway – Peggy and Marilyn already warned me against wasting precious time on such fruitless pursuits. Life is far too short to obsess over the floors – so I don’t (much)!
This restlessness may prove to be nothing profound at all. It simply may be my response to the subtle – quiet – gentle shifting of the seasons. It could be the months of living in this strange – new COVID-19 world. It could be watching our sons grow and change. It could be that I am just being me (like I said I get restless sometimes).
I woke up this morning at 5:30 with the lyrics of a Rolling Stones song running through my mind on a loop. And I am not nor have I ever been much of a music person. But still this is what my mind presented me with the first thing this morning: “No, you can’t always get what you want. You can’t always get what you want. You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometime you find. You get what you need.” Thank you brain!?!? I haven’t heard that in forever . . .
All I know is that I am restless. My brain is hard at work on something. And when that happens – yes – you guessed it – great big doses of nature and the great outdoors are called for. I keep finding that I am drawn outside even more than usual. And when I am outside I can’t even see the Legos or the dirty dishes – BONUS!
On Wednesday when the McFarland sons asked if we could go back to the river to look for more cool creatures – I didn’t even hesitate before answering with a great big YES (after work and school – I am still a responsible card-carrying adult)!
At 5:08 pm all 4 McFarlands were in the car – provisions in hand for an evening at the river.
As we drew closer to our usual spot on the river – we discovered a very large – very NOT socially distant group of people. The governor and the mayor would have been very disappointed in them. Actually – so was I! So we set off to find a new spot on the river where we could be safe and responsible and have fun at the same time.
We had luck. We found a lovely spot and soon Jack and Will were hard at work seeking snakes and spiders and crawdads and other cool creatures.
It was a lovely evening. While the McFarland sons explored – I watched the sun coming through the leaves on the trees.
I admired the bark on trees. (Intriguing – I tell you – truly – intriguing – if you just take a moment to notice all of the amazing patterns!)
I watched the sun sparkling on the river.
I noticed the first fall leaves drifting by in the river.
The colors are lovely – even though summer green and scorching heat will always be my one true love.
I chatted with Jason.
I listened to our sons talking to one another and I watched them explore the world together. Really together. Amazing. Such an incredible blessing – especially when you consider the big age difference between them.
I heard the delighted shout of SNAKE!!!! from Will 2 times when he flipped over rocks to gleefully encounter water snakes.
And I heard the call of SNAKE! from Jack too. Followed by – “This is a really big one!!” – from Will. And then from Jack a moment later – “Hey Dad – do we have copperheads around here?” Jack was calm – cool and collected. He could have been asking if we had any snacks in the backpack . . .
Jason (cool as a cucumber in the refrigerator) “Yes – Jack. We do.”
It was in this moment that Jack and Will decided to call a full retreat – but they did so in such a relaxed – easy- breezy manner. They walked our way like there wasn’t a murderous – killer – monster snake right behind them! Such strange people I am related to and they were smiling!?!?!? I kid you not – they were smiling like it was Christmas morning!
There was much discussion of “THE SNAKE of great and stupendous awesomeness.” It was the highlight of their day and likely Will’s month! The snake was several feet long. It was fatter around than the other snakes they had seen – but they didn’t see the head very well. They were bummed! I said a prayer of thanksgiving!!! Jason thinks it was probably just another type of water snake – but I did some research and “copperheads can be found statewide in Kentucky. Their preferred habitat includes rocky, wooded hillsides, lowland areas near streams, abandoned wood piles or rotting logs and mulch piles.” We were on a rocky, wooded hillside and we were right beside a lowland steam/smallish river . . .
This much I do know – the McFarland family has a new story to tell and a new one-liner – because I will never – ever – ever forget seeing my two beloved sons peering into a pile of rocks along a riverbank and hearing Jack call out – “Hey Dad – do we have copperheads around here?”
Seriously – that has to be every mom’s dream right?
So – I am always extolling the awesomeness of God’s creation. The glories of nature’s loveliness. The way God makes his presence known to us in the beauty of the natural world. He is! He does! God is there always! But please be sure to watch where you step!!!! It is a crazy – wild and wonderful world out there.
Anyway – I pray that you are safe and well. I miss YOU!
Please know that you are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.
In Christ and with Love – Pastor Kerri