Sunday, September 10, 2017

Now I Lay Me

You write we are extinct. That floods are a lesson from Him. We tender no mercies. We lie. Cheat. Doing what is easiest forgoing the consequence. We are always wanting. Blame the establishment. The government. The people.

Who has seen the wind? I lived on street lamp time. We played make believe in the gully alongside our side yard. Made mud pies and built bridges using old planks taken from the wood pile outside the shed.  We packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and shiny red apples in a paper sac to last the entire day as we foraged through the wood high atop the hillside.
We sat cross-legged at the bench pressing our pencil lead crisply into the salmon notebook.  Carefully and with precision writing in cursive – practicing our letters.  We made our beds each morning and brushed our hair until it was shiny and golden before making our way to breakfast.  We washed our dishes by hand and played word games with dad after the dishes were done.

I carpooled to catechism with my sisters. Attended a Protestant Sunday school tucking our quarters neatly into closed fists paying for our souls to be free.  Confession was inconsequential given our strict upbringing.  Sunday afternoons we attended a public skate or swim at the community center.

I believed in my dad. I followed his rules. A sheep to his pulpit. I excelled in school and was well versed in sports and enjoyed a handful of faithful friends. My life was straightforward and I supposed simplistic in nature. I was taught to protect myself and to work hard.  We walked everywhere. Rode our bikes hard. Skipped rocks and kicked at crumpled cans that littered the ditches.

When did I lose my way? Astray from my father’s flock my faith in my God and in humanity began to crumble. Wearing thin an armor no longer fit to bear arms.  Lost is the innocence of youth. The blessings and life lessons that were mine are extinct to this generation. This world I hold out to them in open palm is complicated. Over-processed. We see too much. Know too much.  Seeking solace freedom from the chaos of a world overloaded I demand simplicity. I am frightened. Sickened. This reality I cannot escape. The atheist claiming no God. The religious fanatic killing for what he has been instructed to do in his code living in his world. Our dollars feeding the hungry, propelling the movements and fighting the diseases. Too many are the self-serving and too few the compassionate. The corrupt leading the blind the indifferent.

I want to return to the softness of the soil. A barn dance. A sleepover.  Summer camp. Where we are led by nature. Let our children simply be. Let them laugh. Pick teams. Explore. Sleep in and dream big.  Too soon all that we know will be a weight on their soul and in their hearts.  Whatever happened to tag and red rover or capture the flag? To believe in what is good. To teach and understand kindness. To know there is hope and choice. Hopscotch and double-dutch.  Joy in the unknown. Peace from the onslaught of a social media warfare. To be an uncomplicated fifteen year old.  Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

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