Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Like My Prayers

Yesterday, my Grandmother and I sat at the back porch, looking east. The heat of the day had passed, and there was a sweet breeze moving the air around our legs. Most evenings, spring through late fall, hundreds of crows migrate across the valley and sometimes even settle in our pasture. Their flight path is as wide and long as a road and almost as black. They are sleek, so black they shine blue, and they gossip loudly, carelessly. Did you know a group of crows is not a 'flock,' but a 'murder?' Sometimes they do seem fairly sinister.

When the sun is setting, we enjoy the light that is played on the eastern hills and distant mountains. Houses too distant to distinguish during the day, reflect little beacons of gold from the light of the setting sun. There is no clock to count the minutes by, the phone may ring, but that's what answering machines are for. Only the gentle, gradual change in light and color marks the closing of day. All is cast in the breeziest rose petal pink, then, in a breath, time that passes unaccounted, the hills are a purple haze, as though dusted by a veil of grace.

Sometimes the very air around us is like a prayer. It sustains us, and it carries the voices of the trees that sway in its breeze, the voices of children and chickens. It is constant, but sometimes so entwined with our busy lives that we fail to hear its softest supplications, feel its healing caress. Last night the air was humble, yet generous. Grandmother recalled the stories she dreamed of as a child, Max danced and sang for us, Grandpa laughed. William and Alex ran and played, and lived in an unconscious state that marks the very sweetest part of childhood. The air was like my prayers; full of laughter, gratitude, play, and memories, it carried earthly voices and was aglow in purple.

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