Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Tea

It was a chilly and wet 4th of July here but the 90 degree highs are peeping just around the corner. Thus... I will not complain about the cool or the wet. Instead, I sip one of my Celestial Seasonings Holiday teas (which were a gift). After all, this is a Holiday weekend, isn't it? Hmmm... do I want peppermint, or ginger and cinnamon, or Cookie Dough... peppermint I think.

Last night I watched fireworks on TV. Gorgeous fireworks. I can just imagine what it would be like watching them in person in the nation's capital. I can no longer watch fireworks without thinking of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and the magic of it all.

There were also up close and personal sounds as my neighbor's college age son had a few friends over and they were shooting off fireworks on the gravel lane we share... I asked them if they were certain they would not end up on my roof. :)

They assured me everything was safe so I told them to have fun and went back inside... watching TV fireworks and listening to the local sounds (and seeing a few colorful blasts from my window). I know there is a science behind all that color but it's still fun to think Gandalf is at work.

That... to me... is what summer is all about. Magic. Good magic. Narnia magic. Red, white, and blue magic. Morning Has Broken magic (beautiful song). The kind of amazement found in The Magician's Nephew when Aslan is singing the world into existence. That which the shepherds must have felt on the night of the Nativity as a multitude of angels appeared.

I meet so many children and young people today who have lost the sense that this world is a special place. There is so much darkness today which shows up in the eyes of those who are newer to the world than we who have lived longer.

How urgent it becomes that we who are mothers and fathers, grammies and granddads, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends... teach the children how to view life from the eyes of one who sees the Wonder.

As a Christian, I always shared with my children how God loved us so much He created the beautiful quartz, or the colorful leaves, or snow sprinkling like diamonds when the full moon shines "moon rays" down on a winter landscape, or the sweet taste of the just picked strawberry.

Have you ever been beside a child as they take their first taste of ice cream? How about when they first view the magic of fireflies? I have...

I have precious memories when both of my children first felt the taste of vanilla ice cream on their tongue. The look in their eyes as they tasted the cold and then the sweetness became real. Their little mouth opened once again as a robin waiting for mother to drop food in its' mouth.

Quite often when they were each small, I'd remind them that God did not have to give us delightful tastes, colors, and textures... we could have been given the same manna day in and day out if food was just to be used for substance.

I was also there when (my sister) Jean brought my niece and her children for a visit one hot summer week. The two children stood on my front porch, with jaws dropped and eyes wide as there appeared hundreds of fairy lights in my front yard as well as throughout the forest. Imagine what the sight would look like to a child raised in Florida who had never seen them before... they couldn't wait to run among the fireflies on the lawn.

I thought of them recently when Christopher called just as the sun was setting, asking if I could pick him up and bring him home for the night. The extreme heat and humidity were coming together to cause severe allergy symptoms since the air conditioning where he is living doesn't work well. I was very happy to bring him home as hubby was still in North Carolina and it was too quiet in the house. :)

As I drove the country roads, I couldn't help but drive slowly and let my eyes take in the scenes of early summer dusk on Midwest farms. No one else was on the road at that time. The sight caused me to thank the Creator of all...

For in the midst of large fields of corn, small farmhouses with horses grazing near the fence, another old house with sheep settling in for the night, my favorite rustic red barn, the tiny country church built in the 1800s... and the occasional modern subdivision... all having in common the thousands of fireflies twinkling in the summer heat as the sun was setting below the horizon. Breathtaking.

Perhaps we need to remind ourselves of these lessons... in the midst of the darkness and bad news overwhelming the world today... we need to look for the Narnia magic... that which remains of Eden as we watch seeds becoming vegetables... perhaps even picking up the Book of Psalms and reading the words of a shepherd who would be king... :)

Picture: Tea time at my home last year


Married life said...

Love this post!

Margaret's Ramblings said...

What a wonderful post. And you are a Narnia babe as well. LOL. I do love those books and even though my children are now all grown up, they still love them as well. We do well to look at the joy in our life and the beauty around us.

Once again thank you for your lovely words.


Marie said...

Fireflies! Now, that is a great childhood memory. I wonder if the kids these days enjoy running after them to catch them in a jar and later let them go. It seems that too many of them are cooped up in the house watching TV or playing games. We use to have to invent our entertainment. I wish our grandchildren could enjoy more of the wonderful easy going life that we grew up with. I am so thankful that our daughter and son-in-law are providing a safe and good environment for ours. They love to hike and walk in the many parks in Tulsa. They have gone to their Nana's this weekend to fish. What great memories!

Tammie @ Rigney Ministries said...

I always enjoy your writing, Brenda ... but occasionally, on days like today, I give you a standing ovation, because our hearts resonate together!

scrappy quilter said...

Amen and amen. God has given us so many things that to me seem magical. For instance, on the way home from church today, watching the clouds in the sky that seemed magical. I remember often when we would go for a drive, we'd look for different animals in the clouds. There is so much beauty that surrounds us if we only look. We need to share it with our kids.

Great post Brenda.

Anonymous said...

I just recently found your blog and had to comment on this post.
OH My you wrote exactly how I feel about the wonder and magic of it all!
Indeed God gave us all we need, We just need to see it!
thank you and god bless

Anonymous said...

Brenda, how was the tea party? I was hoping you wouldn't get sick from standing in the rain.

It is encouraging to me to read the comments left on your posts, that there really are lovely people that care about the same things I do.

Friend Debra

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog from 'Like Merchant Ships'. I am looking forward to exploring your writing more. I loved this post. I think as others have written that children miss out on the fun of simple things as lightening bugs. I live in an urban area with a small yard, (I was on the mall watching the Washington DC fireworks live, last night and they were spectacular). Last week, my youngest was chasing fireflies in our yard. But here, like anywhere, you have to make an effort and encourage your children to turn the TV off and get outside.

Thank you for reminding me about a lovely memory with my own children. I remember that first time they tasted ice cream. I remembered that I too thought they were like baby robins wanting more.

I checked out your book list and realized that we have common taste.


Sharon said...

What a wonderful post Brenda!I grew up in CA in the city and never saw fireflies.I have only seen them in movies.:-(However my husband who grew up in the country in Michigan has many memories of them!:-)Blessings~Sharon

Vee said...

We saw one little firefly this evening. I can only imagine how delightful it would've been to have seen so many all at once...magical. Yes, I do think it is important for us all to realize just how special we are for God to love us enough to create this beauty for us to enjoy. Big children and the little's wonderful to see the world through the eyes of a child.

Robin said...

Beautiful post! I think kids find that joy on themselves, discovering those fireflies for example but I love to slow down to see them delight!

Anonymous said...

I was raised where fireflys were common. Now that I am married I live several states away from there. Where my husband was raised they didn't have fireflys {what a sad childhood! :) } I told him about fireflys and he thought for many years I was just joking! Yes they seem so magical. Then too so do so many of God's treasures he gives us...we need to open our eyes to the majic of ordinary days. Thankyou Brenda for reminding me to open up the children's eyes and ears and hearts to the magical world God has created for us. Not as you said because he Had to but because he Wantd to. Jody

Susan B said...

A beautiful post! It does bring back some childhood memories. Though growing up in California, I didn't see my first fireflies until two years ago in Missouri (I was 52). Better late than never, I guess! :o) Have a lovely week.

Heather L. said...

I love fireflies too! i need to go out into the country some night and see masses of them together. I did let Andrew take one up to his room last week -- not sure how long it lasted. :)

Jennie said...

I watched my teenage children last week play in the rain together. I had my husband run to get the camera so we have a few pictures. That was a magical moment for me.