Usually, bidding adieu to the month of May is more of a good riddance. It’s become the norm for us here in Southeastern Massachusetts to experience much cold, wet and nasty weather.
But this year we were blessed, especially at the tail end of the month, with some pretty spectacular weather — and that, for Denise and me, means sitting on the deck and soaking in the rays. Well, Denise does, but I have to cower under a deck umbrella because of the poor job I’ve done over the years of taking care of my skin.
Nonetheless, we enjoy sitting amidst the birds, flowers, trees and plants — as long as the winds don’t blow too hard (another common May phenomenon).
Recently, I was outside alone and from beneath the shade of the umbrella I looked up and saw beautiful blue skies and billowy white clouds above me. Something I often, in fact mostly, take for granted, left me awestruck.
After watching the cloud formations morph before my very eyes, I sat in wonder — in awe that every movement, slight as it may be, and virtually unnoticed by humankind, is in God’s control. Just as Matthew 6:26 quotes Jesus, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them,” everything is in His hands. But then I also stared skyward and wondered, where is everyone? Meaning where are all the people who have come and gone before me? Are they up there beyond the clouds and blue skies?
I wondered about my mom and dad; about my son and my grandparents. I wondered about friends of mine who left this earth way too soon (according to me, not God). I even wondered about my best friend ever, my pooch Igor.
I stared upward and wondered what they are doing right now. I wondered where they are in this vast array of solar systems and space.
I wondered if they can see me looking up and wondering about them. I wonder if they knew I was thinking about them.
I experienced a feeling of melancholy; a bittersweet remembrance of loved ones and a wonderment about their existence in the afterlife.
I’m not one to usually wax existentialism. I’m more of a St. Thomas kind of guy: when I see it, I’ll believe it. But that day, staring into the heavens, I did believe all of the folks (and dog) I mentioned are out there somewhere, even though I couldn’t see them.
I was also overcome with a feeling that I wish I could see them again; to talk to them; to laugh with them. I have so many questions to ask. And Igor? I so want to massage behind her ears, give her a belly rub and give her a great big hug.
It was a rare and enlightening few moments on the deck that day. And truthfully, as unique as it was, those were not feelings I want to encounter often. And I feel God wouldn’t want that either.
There are plenty of things to think about in the here and now, with emphasis on the here. And there are plenty of things to enjoy in the here and now — like sitting on my deck in the warmth of summer; like listening to the seemingly endless, joyful chatter of birds; like watching a big fat old bumblebee poking in and out of the hanging plants; and like the company of people who in the here with me.