Sunday, March 16, 2003

God is in the Details

"Okay. Everybody, attention. This day we are going to have another party. And to make this an original party, we are going to clean." Max, as we are all gathered together having cookies and milk for breakfast, is making the day's plan. He rummages through the kitchen drawer, the one with all the ladles, spatulas, tongs and runcible spoons. Gleefully he pulls out a pretty fork, with a scrolled handle and three extra wide prongs. "And this is for the salad! Mom, when are you making the salad?" Max marches around the kitchen, the fork is his baton, and he is drumming up support, "All the interesting things will be for the party. We will have a fire and salad and we will clean. Now, let's go."

To know Max is to know a leader. He is confident. He is honest, except when he lies. When he lies he is confident and relentlessly bold. He is a visionary.

"There are still some rules: It is that I am the judge at this party. At parties, children are the judges," Max has more to offer regarding his agenda.

It is raining, in a comforting and winter kind of way. The house smells of Sunday morning children, bathed the night before, and of oatmeal cookies, hot from the oven. The wind is scattering soggy leaves and blowing 'round the windows. Geoff built a fire that is crackling, popping and hissing, it implores you to sit beside it, read a book, watch the rain travel in little rivers down the window panes.

Did someone say 'God is in the details?' The details here are infinite. The poppies blooming in the pasture, as orange as the fruit in the neighbor's trees. The crows that fly spirals in the sky, black on gray. Fabrics, washed and stacked, quilter's squares for comforting warmth. There are details to see and hear. The washing machine humming and spinning, the children breathing and growing. I hear chickens discussing weather, and seeds. I hear the pages of a book turned slowly and I hear a boy reading, not aloud, but with a soundlessness that is somehow quite loud.

Alex is constructing weiner dogs from Zoobs, and a cellular phone, and a scorpion. He brings out each creation to explain its function or purpose, and Max follows him from the same playroom asking, "Okay, but is that for the party?"

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