Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The Storm I'm In...
... is, I'm happy to report, "one hellacious Nor'easter," according to the CNN weather woman. As I drove south the skies went from mostly sunny/bright to mostly cloudy/grey to seriously overcast/dark to dropping buckets, cats, dogs and kitchen sinks on my car. And the wind... it is blowing so loudly here it's hard to imagine trying to sleep. It sounded, a moment ago, as if some siding just came ripping off the neighbor's house.
The Dad is well...better, in fact, than expected. He was genuinely happy to see me, and I him, and we headed out immediately in search of some fresh seafood. That accomplished, we settled into a cosy evening of him watching the Flyers lose to the Senators while I watched him watch, and also watched and listened to the storm.
The house is on the Inland Waterway, about a quarter mile from the ocean. My bedroom window has the same view as the kitchen window, which is of the bay, then marshes (often plentiful with sea birds: egrets, blue herons, gulls of course), then a bridge, then Bright Lights Big City. It is one of my favorite views in the world. On a calm bright day there is nothing like sipping coffee while the water wavers and sparkles and shows you new blues you didn't know existed.
Tonight I can say without reservation that I am glad to be here. My dad is just one more senior citizen, stunned to learn that his body really ages as does his mind. The least I can do is to be with him in it, to let him know he is loved in all his crotchety splendor. In the words of the lovely and talented Lucy Kaplansky, "It's a dirty trick this growing old." No wonder the psalmist attributes aging to a God mightily pissed off.
Lord, you have been our dwelling-place
in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You turn us back to dust,
and say, ‘Turn back, you mortals.’
For a thousand years in your sight
are like yesterday when it is past,
or like a watch in the night.
You sweep them away; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning;
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
For we are consumed by your anger;
by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
For all our days pass away under your wrath;
our years come to an end like a sigh.
The days of our life are seventy years,
or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;
even then their span is only toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger?
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due to you.
So teach us to count our days
that we may gain a wise heart.
Turn, O Lord! How long?
Have compassion on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be manifest to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us,
and prosper for us the work of our hands—
O prosper the work of our hands!
~ Psalm 90
This psalm contains several of my favorite fragments of scripture, words that regularly make their way into extemporaneous prayers.
"Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love..."
"Prosper for us the work of our hands..."
Two prayers that sum it all up for me, I think. Let me feel your love, and let my love be returned in the work I offer you, steadfast God.