I’d give all the wealth that years have piled,
The slow result of Life’s decay,
To be once more a little child
For one bright summer day.
The sidewalks were long and narrow that ran between the stucco houses, and high was the exterior wall of the two-story duplex two doors down from us on the seaward end of the block. At the base of that duplex’s stucco wall was an elongated flower bed filled with pansies and strawberries, and about halfway down the wall was a door that separated the flower bed into two sections. Behind the door was a storage area, a closet of sorts, filled with all kinds of fascinating objects. Because the closet was under the front stairwell of the two story structure, it was one of those odd-shaped little niches with a downward sloping ceiling on one end. In the closet’s mysterious, deeper recesses were all kinds of tools. When the door to the closet was ajar, it meant Uncle was inside sitting on his stool and working on a yard or household task Auntie had commissioned. The “doghouse” as he called it, was a rich and irresistible den of curiosities for a young child, and in it with Uncle as tutor-in-residence I not only learned but also fell in love with a myriad of things. The closet with its earthy smells and assorted contraptions was a magical place, and the gardening tools were as provocative a sight for young eyes as the images of the storybook gardens they conjured up. Decades later when a friend commented that I live close to nature, I thought of that closet again and realized the lasting impression that it and Uncle had made on my life. Then and there in a place that smelled of soil and sea I came to love and respect the earth for its charming and sometimes “shy presences”–the visible ones, the audible ones, the tangible ones, even the ones that dwelt in dim obscurity. Uncle’s closet and his tales gave birth to “stirrings” that ultimately led me to believe that all Creation is a gift to be cherished and that its Maker is to be adored and praised.
The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. ~Exodus 15:2 ✝
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!
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