As the coral sun sets in a sea of softly apricot sky, I drive down the familiar bumps and curve of our own driveway after a long day in town. Three small girls, happily sticky with the residue of free Dumdum suckers from the bank, tumble out of the car and I herd them inside to put on pajamas, brush teeth and crawl into bed. We kill all the mosquitoes in their room, say prayers together, turn out the lights. And then, I go back out to unload the groceries, a flat of plants from the greenhouse, and a newly repaired bicycle that’s ready for a six-year-old to learn to pedal. It’s late and I’m tired, but suddenly I pause in the midst of my trips up and down the porch steps, because—
There’s a milky half slice of moon in one half of the sky, a nearer-than-usual planet blinking like a solitaire diamond in the other.
The barn roof and my bridal wreath spirea in full bloom are glowing pure white in the gathering darkness.
The heady fragrance of lilac is on the breeze, perfuming the night.
I hear the whistle of a woodcock’s wings,
the hoarse voices of frogs along the shore,
one loon calling to another,
then a deep boom from beyond the trees on the other side of the lake. Somebody, on this ordinary Monday evening in June, is shooting fireworks up into the perfect night sky. I stay paused, whole watermelon cradled in my arms, to scrutinize the horizon and see if I can catch a glimpse of the sparkling explosions above the treetops.
And then, like a bit of falsetto to offset all the bass, comes the whine of a cloud of mosquitoes who had taken a surprisingly long time to realize there was human flesh waiting to be sampled in the great outdoors. I hurry inside, grateful that they stayed away just long enough to give me time to savor what I’m too often in a hurry to discover:
that even when you’re tired and to-do list is long, or maybe especially then,
there’s incredible beauty and wonder to be found in an ordinary moment in time,
if you just take the time to pause and notice.
“Cease striving, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)