Monday, July 25, 2011
The deep summer night had frosted the grass with jewels this morning, and I was slogging through the bed of diamonds back to the house instead of venturing from it. Last night, Daddy proposed an impromptu campout in the back-field. Short adventures of that kind get infectious responses on most occasions in our family. Who can resist a good fire, fresh air, and a front row view of the sunset? The boys and Daddy pitched and batted arcs over the field, (and sometimes over our heads and sometimes into the pig's paddock), with a baseball while we ladies cheered and commented from the fireside. We made firebrands out of our marshmallow sticks and then roasted prodigious numbers of the fluffy sugar bombs into various stages of charcoal. It was proposed we try the same method with a few leftover brats; so we added grease sparks to the night-light of our camp and burnt our fingers and tongues on the most delicious portions of meat I have ever tasted. Crackling and charred on the outside, juicy-sweet on the inside. Every topic of conversation around our campfire is broached with the happy assurance that we have all the time in the world to pursue it, unhurried by the demands of a schedule. Family jokes are laughed at without reserve, nobody worries about the state of their hair, we all wear the same scent (wood smoke and bug-spray), and no-one has to say anything to be a necessary presence in the assembly. I didn't bother taking large numbers of pictures. Once in a while these times are too sacred and precious for the excessive recording of things best painted on the memory alone. Tucked into those loud swishy sleeping bags where every move is a waterfall or an express train, we admonish each-other about the coming hours and say good-night a thousand times in funny sleepy voices until someone forgets to reply in the twilight of wakefulness and we drop off to the roar of bullfrogs and the flickering of our dying fire. God quiets my heart most often when I rest for these short moments of time in His countless blessings of the present common-place. Contentment, I think, is not having things you want, but truly wanting those things which you have with a passion that makes the smallest gifts cause you to worship the Giver. He calls it gratitude.