I wake up bleary-eyed and shivering.
I gather her into a tight embrace under the quilt; she leans her head against my chest and sighs: “Da.”
Sophia`s attention soon wanders… and she slides off of the bed, scurrying through the Kitchen and Dining Room, ambling up the stairs to where her sister still sleeps. No doubt some plan of mischief is on the mind of our wee lass.
I sit up in bed and gaze out the windows, pale Sunlight glints in the treetops against a burning blue sky. Though the chill of the morning still abides, it is going to be a beautiful day.
Morning is a rush of hours… hasty conversations over steamy plates of eggs and cups of tea, children smacking jelly toast and putting way too much syrup on their pancakes, showers and shavings, the musky scent of cologne, the deep fragrance of dewy trees.
Argos barks hungrily and stands at the kitchen window, peering intently at the children`s Breakfast leftovers. Gaelynn prepares his crunchings and munchings of yolky eggs and dry kibble, of half-eaten sausages and last night`s casserole. She twirls and whirls around him as he yelps excitedly at the feast she holds tantalizingly out of his pouncing reach. When she sets the bowl down, he buries his head into the meal. Alternating between mouthfuls of food and sloshing gulps of water.
Parting is a sweet, but all-too-common, sorrow for me in the morning.
I dispense with an itinerary of hugs and kisses, which starts with the youngest and ends with my beloved. I give them my love and, with a waving hand, join the keening throng of morning commuters to our respective places of business.
Quickly entering the main village thoroughfare, I sense the torpid ebb of slowing traffic.
Sighing my impatience, with eyes turned towards the heavens, I lean back into my chair and turn the music up.
“…you love this town, even if that doesn`t ring true
you`ve been all over it, and it`s been all over you…”
More later than sooner, I arrive downtown at the main branch of the organization. Hurrying, but without haste, I stop by the offices of various colleagues and fellow laborers. We talk about this-that-and-the-other. I drop off documentation concerning one set of tasks and am cheerfully presented with others.
What starts as a series of quick errands turns into an escape attempt. I am briefed by the Director of Programs, and then by Operations, and then by Development.. after dropping off some documentation with Finance, I am ready to do some actual work. Sneaking subtly, I slip out the front doors with little flourish and back into my vehicle… bound for my facility.
Again, with this traffic!
For all the genius of the ability of the Founding Fathers to foresee the possible complications of government in the eons to come, their colleagues in the civil engineering did a bloody poor job of anticipating the strictures of 21st century thoroughfares.
It will be a joyous day for me when I acquire a bicycle, that I might circumvent this churning gridlock for the gliding ease of sidewalks and backstreets.
When I arrive at the community in which my operation is located, I am greeted by an ebullient multitude of children. I wade through reeds of smiling faces, each questioning and talking in kaleidoscope tones. I wave hello to the various denizens I see milling about, and I notice their bemused grins at this particular spectacle… the same bizarre sight that greets my arrival upon every morning.
“…touch me, take me to that other place;
teach me, I know I`m not a hopeless case…”
Arriving in the cool darkness of my office, I sit down at my desk… and breathe.
Though far from being tired or weary, I must prepare for the raging dance o` the hours that is about to come. In the amber lamplight of my office, I pause to thank the LORD for bringing me safely thus far and ask Him to grant me the strength and wisdom to complete the tasks He will bring before me.
…and then, it begins. The hours careen and bend, into one-another and upon themselves. Time becomes flat, as a canvas, upon which the occurrences and words and deeds are painted with a precipitant elaboration… fast, through a slow-motion landscape.
I look up from one moment, only to notice that scarcely a minute has passed… I look again, and I see the day is half-over. In the midst of just such a realization, a colleague stops by and asks me to join him for Luncheon, a welcome caesura to a day already ripe with consumption.
“The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving…”
We stroll down West Street to meet a group of our fellow laborers at a familiar Downtown public-house, but as we are all still “on-duty” we enjoy teas and soft drinks with our meals.
One tangent of discussion become a thread of an altogether color, and light conversation soon become intense philosophical dialogue – of which I must share the blame in my subtle insertion of innocuous-seeming questions that force the dialogues into deeper grounds. However, each volley is met in good spirit and an accord is found upon the issue… accord of hearts if not in minds.
As one, we all depart… as sonorous airs to our respective locales, and I return to work with vim and vigor.
So too does the day seem to engage itself. Time steels itself for the remnant of the workday, and hurls itself into passage with tragic efficacy. My hours are stolen from me as so many breaths of air. I run my hand across a low-hanging Oak branch, and feel the diminishing sap within its leaves – the leaves, many of which are already fading into hues of Autumn, grow increasingly sparse upon the highest extremities and join the scuttling litter upon the pavement.
I gather my materials and close up shop, another day`s occupational labors completed. Barring a few trifling errands, I am homeward bound.
“Home, to where my love lies waiting silently for me…”
Bless my soul, this traffic is ludicrous! It is almost as if everyone in the DC-to-Baltimore metro area just up and decided to drive home at exactly the same time or something! What sane man would participate in such a preposterous venture? Why am I even driving to work? A bike would have paid for itself by now! But I digress…
I stop by the church on my way home, to visit with the Pastor and brief him on some of the issues concerning the Lighthouse homeless shelter. I also meet with the Director of Education to put forth some of my ideas on the presentation I am delivering this Reformation Day. My dear friend Zach meets me on my way out and we talk for a little while, but I am in haste to be in the loving bosom of my beloved ones. When my good lord Morehead engages me by the door, to inquire of my opinions on a specific aspect of this coming harvest season, I mock-wonder (in a humorously melodramatic internal monologue) if I shall ever see home again.
Nevertheless… I am soon off again, cruising along Forest Drive, as the traffic has lessened considerably in the last hour or so.
Forest Drive makes a severe meridian along the east/west “axis” of Annapolis, one can scarcely get from one part of town to the other without it – unless one prefers to drive the narrow corridors of West Street in the Downtown area, whose “rush hour” gridlock makes Forest Drive seem as steadily flowing as the Autobahn.
“…it`s a beautiful day,
don`t let it get away…”
I arrive home too late to enjoy Supper with my family, but my beloved has kept my plate of food simmering in anticipation of the imminence of my coming.
While I sit and eat, my children speak the sweet morsels of their day, of childish adventures and play. I devour their words as ravenously as my wife`s savory food. I have missed them greatly, and I look forward to spending the remnant of this evening with them.
Now… as I sit at my desk, furiously scribbling every flicker and dribble of my day, my beloved helps them into their sandals and sweatshirts.
Their behavior has been exemplary over the course of the day in my absence, and so we shall venture out-of-doors; for a treat of an ice cream cone and to feed the ducks that gather around the City Dock.
So let me cease my ramblings with a simple word of Grace.
I thank You, merciful and gracious LORD of the heavens and the earth, for the sparkling wonderments of this glorious day. I thank You for the dulcet peace of my household, and the leisure with which I can count Your innumerate blessings.
For it is to Your Glory and in Your sacred Name that I pray…