After church and communion, young friends take us out for lunch at our favorite restaurant. Later, I sleep on the couch while Randa and Sam do their own things in the afternoon.
In late evening, Sam and I sit on the patio, watching a swarm of swallows flit about in the fading light while Randa tends the horses. Sam is thirty-eight and living with us during his temporary stationing at Ft. Leavenworth. It is a rare blessing, at least in the framework of my life, to have the opportunity for extended visiting with an adult child. It has been fascinating for Randa and me to finally see the man he has become in something other than the glimpses of visits and Facebook posts. There are traces of early personality and manifestations of maturity blended together. We knew about the humor and wit, intelligence and gregariousness; the generosity, sensitivity and appreciation are fruits of higher branches.
Daylight fades into dusk. “Look at that bit of pink on that cloud,” I say, pointing to the east. Among a clustering of small, charcoal clouds, only one carries a tinge of color. Sam leans forward enough to see past the big spruce. “That’s cool.”
The swallows swoop and dart in their last feeding of the day. These work mostly around the cottonwood tree that towers above the Bartlett Pear on the opposite side of the driveway. Sam asks, “Why do you think they keep working that area?”
I speculate that mosquitoes are nesting in that vast reservoir of leaves and are just now beginning to stir out for the evening. “Of course,” I confess, “I’m not really sure… but I am pretty sure that there’s a lot of whatever the swallows are feeding on hanging out around that tree.”
The sky darkens somewhat as Randa comes up from the barn and turns our attention from south to northwest, “Look at the sunset!” We turn and see an intense orange red glowing through the trees. Fascinated by the workings of the swallows, we hadn’t even noticed the colors as the sun settled into the horizon.
The three of us sit on the patio. A few bats take over the sky-hunting as the swallows retire. Leaves and branches shift into silhouettes. Occasional faint reflections of lightning far off to the north flicker against the sides of the garage. Stars emerge as dusk darkens into night. Traffic fades away on Highway 36. We talk in quiet voices about things that matter. I lean back in my chair, study the sky for a while, grateful for all the good that this good day has brought.
This day that the Lord has made.