September 20, 2009

Back From NYC

This morning I let the cats out into the backyard and noticed their water bowl was tipped over. This is usually a sign that raccoons have visited during the night. After I closed the French door, I noticed 2 muddy paw prints on the lower glass pane. Apparently a little critter was curious as to what was inside. Thank goodness I don't have a doggy door.

I was suddenly reminded of a comment Issac made a few years ago. We were having a family dinner and I had mentioned seeing a few raccoons in the yard one night. Issac asked me what I had done with them. I told him that I knew they had come into the yard to eat fruit off the ground and I just let them be. Uncle Mike asked him what he would have done. He replied, "I would have taken them to New York City!" He then burst into laughter. During the next few days I kept thinking of his comment and some silly ideas began to flow. With a bit of computer cut and paste, I came up with the above picture. That is Issac as the cabbie and a raccoon as his passenger. Needless to say, he thought this picture was hilarious. (click on the picture for a close-up of these 2 handsome creatures)

Since I was sound asleep when my late night visitor arrived, I missed the chance to hear all about his NYC travels. Perhaps next time. ;-)

September 7, 2009

Holy Ground

"Earth's crammed with heaven,
and every common bush afire with God;
and only he who sees takes off his shoes,
the rest sit round it and pluck blackberries, ..... "

I read this Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem recently and had an "aha" moment. It wasn't her reverence for nature that amazed me; it was her reference to the burning bush and the removal of shoes. I knew the burning bush was in reference to Moses.
..take off your sandals,
for the place on which you are standing
is holy ground.
(Exodus 3:5 NIV)

In re-reading the burning bush story I felt stunned.

Years ago, my grandfather had terminal cancer. We knew that he had just a few weeks to live. My normal routine was to come home from work and greet Sara and Michael, then go to visit my grandparents. On this particular day, I just felt that I needed to go straight to my grandparent's house. I had no strong thoughts that death was near, for I had seen my grandpa that morning and we shared smiles and hugs. I just sensed that I should go there first. When I arrived, my former husband Steve met me in the kitchen. He didn't say a word, nor did he have to. His face said it all. I immediately knew that my grandpa was dying. As I headed toward the bedroom, I stopped in the hallway and removed my shoes. At the time, I had no idea why I was doing this.

For years that has puzzled me. Why did I stop and remove my shoes? In reading this poem, and God's words to Moses, I suddenly had my answer. I removed my shoes because the moment I crossed the threshold, that small bedroom became a sacred place. The place that held my precious grandfather, Bopee. The man who held me right after I was born. The man who loved his family with all his heart. The man who made me laugh with his fun sense of humor. The man who taught me faith and love through example. The man who called me Sunshine.

It wasn't a coincidence that I went straight there that day. I believe it was divine intervention. Within hours, my precious grandpa passed away. It was the last time that I was able to hug him or tell him (face to face) how very much I loved him. On April 9, 1996.... I was indeed standing on holy ground.