Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of my father’s death. I noted it at 6:31 a.m. as I was getting ready for church. It was soon before or after six in the morning that the phone rang and woke me that Sunday morning, five years ago. When I heard my sister’s voice I was confused because I thought she was sleeping in the basement but she had awoken early and driven to the hospital to wait with my mom. They were there when he died.
You have to see THIS. Go to the theater immediately. Now! Now! Now!
An envelope, stuffed full of papers, sailed through the air and hit me on the back of the head.
“Sorry, Pretty. Would you forgive me?” Paul asked.
“I stretched and hit you. I’m very sorry, will you forgive me.”
I realized I had been sleeping. Well, his hand is the size of a business envelope. I forgave him, rolled over and tried to get back to sleep…to no avail.
“Well I’m awake.” I said after lying quietly for some time.
“Did you do it on purpose?” I asked, knowing he hadn’t.
“Sweetie, it was an accident. There’s nothing to forgive.”
“I guess I’m embarrassed I hit my wife.”
“Well, that’s understandable.”
He rolled over and I lay in the dark, thinking.
“Are you still awake?” I whispered.
“I was just drifting off.”
“Oh, I’ll tell you in the morning.”
There was silence, “What is it? You might as well tell me now.”
And so I told him about a young man I met yesterday and what he had said to me and how I responded which evolved into a conversation about insecurities and the rackets we run to hide them and dogma and missing people by disengaging and following Christ and being committed to each other and the powerful opportunities we have in casual encounters, which is really exciting if you think about it…
And then I noticed that our conversation had become a monologue.
“Are you falling asleep?”
“Yeah, I’m feeling narcoleptic and you’re killing me.”
I have a little herbal concoction I take if I wake up in the night and decided to go get it and then read myself back to sleep, but first I wanted to check my e-mail. When I flipped up my laptop I saw that it was 5:19 and groaned. It was too late to take a sleep aid, but much earlier than I wanted to be awake.
“What?” Paul asked.
I told him the time. He sighed appreciatively and then rolled over.
I went to check my friend, Sherry’s blog and soon Paul was reading over my shoulder.
“Are you up?” I asked.
“Yeah, my mind got going.”
I could certainly understand that.
“Move the screen over,” he commanded, “I can’t read our comment.”
“I think you ought to make a line that says, “we” for when we’re both commenting. Initially you might need to add in parentheses, “Paul and Alison” but eventually they would know who you meant.”
I looked at him, “I think you should go make some coffee,” and, God bless him, he did.
We sat in bed drinking it and talking.
“This is a GOOD cup of coffee,” he congratulated himself, “Supremoooo Colombooo, Big Daddy’s Supremo Colombo.”
Again, looking at a person is sometimes all you can do.
“You can put that on your blog.”
I thanked him and asked for another cup. He got us both one and then got back into bed. I had pulled up the shade and we watched the lightening landscape. A hummingbird flew to the Rose of Sharon tree right outside our window. If you sit on our bed long enough, once the tree has bloomed, you will see one. We watched it fly from flower to flower. At times all we could see were moving branches and then the hummingbird would come into view again, it’s wings rotating so fast they were almost invisible. It would pause for a moment before each flower, moving so quickly and seeming to stand still and then darting to the next blossom.
Growing up my mom always had a Fuchsia plant in a hanging basket in front of the kitchen window. The hummingbirds loved it. Since my mom was the one most often in the kitchen, she was our personal hummingbird spotter.
“There’s a hummingbird!” She would shout.
I would always come running but by the time I got there the bird had usually flown. To lie in bed as I take a little time to wake and to have a hummingbird fly into view is such a gift. They love this bush. Many times I have seen one buzz all around and then sit on a limb and rest quietly. They do rest. The first time I saw one sit quietly; it went so long I began to doubt that it was, in fact, a hummingbird. But after quite a while, it flew away and I saw that it was.
This morning, we sat together quietly and watched this bird execute the lovely dance of incredible movement and seeming stillness, punctuated with complete stillness and then returning to the flying dance again while sucking all the nectar it could find.