A summer of work away interrupted by a week at home; fruit canned, honey gathered, fences fixed and tomatoes sauced. The fireplace slated are finally placed in three days of dust and frenzy involving setting a saw to a wall in my living room. In the moment before cutting it open the infinite possibilities lay heavily in the air; you never know what you will find when you peel back the skin of a house. Rotted beams, squirrel nests, random power and water lines are all expensive discoveries that would necessitate leaving and open hole in the living room wall when I return to work. Happily none came to pass. Behind the Sheetrock is fire board as there should be over a fire place. The man who built my house was a World War Two Veteran named Ira Blood who owned a furnace repair business through the sixties when he retired and built a house that was very practical in all but location. The 1000 feet of driveway is hard to maintain but the view is worth it. I often wonder if there was any correlation between his career spent crawling around basements and machinery and his retirement choices of an open hillside with territorial views.
In the middle of this project is Sunday and with it church; I head in early to join the music and my daughter gets to ring the bell. It is the best chore for a child, because you are telling them to jump and pull because the bell is so heavy, to be loud and make noise that echoes through the quiet Sunday streets. I stop to watch and record the scene. Six months ago she could not pull the bell without help, a year from now she may not want to, but in that moment when she can, if she pulls with all her might make such a resounding noise pleases her greatly and her joy pleases me.
Church itself is a welcome rest from the toil of work. A time to sit and reflect; for the children to learn to be bored in (mostly) silence, to be at peace for a few minutes. I have never felt the Holy Spirit at church (sorry Karen), but you don’t find the actual destination on a map either, however the odds of finding something are greater if you know where to look.
A few days before our youngest crawled into bed and was fast asleep with my wife and the new kitten when I got up to let the chickens out. Looking at the three of them in the early gray light the epiphany occurs; it is in these moments the question is answered. Truly I believe that when one acts in love one walks with God. Church reminds me to stop and look.
The mantle is laid with no time to spare and off again to work. Twelve days until the trim work begins.