Here’s to Life . . .

L’chaim v’l’vracha  is a good Hebrew phrase. It is often used as a toast, less often as a verdict in a trial.

As I use it here, it is simply my exclamatory prayer, celebrating life and blessing, all that is and all that is to come. If I were not alone right now, I’d certainly be bothersome saying “Here’s to Life and to Blessing (leiv racha = “sensitive, soft heart”, “something to wish for”)” again and again and again.

As it is, I am simply uttering it to Father and into the ether when I hit that blue Publish button.

“Work” hardly qualifies as such these days, even though it is hard and grimy and a little tiring and does limit my waking hours significantly, but it is joy all ’round. And our start time is shifting to 8:00 a.m. for reasons beyond those of us who do our jobs, perhaps due to some slackers not getting out on time, or whatever. The theoretical benefit is that I could get more rest, but I will not sleep later; I treasure mornings and cannot sleep into the sun for the life of me, so I will just go to bed a little earlier.  Oh well . . .

And I have a vacation soon, as I leave Sunday to go to Texas. It is hot there, ugh. But, I will see dear family: my daughter and her husband, Mom, and my sister with all of her family. Rides from/to the airport are arranged, and all have been graciously accommodating. I love the miracle of flight and hope to do much more of it, as it is the quickest way to travel vast distances (apart from mind travel), and even though times have changed, it is still romantic. I do at some point intend to purchase carbon offsets because I am quite aware of the environmental consequences of burning so much fossil fuel. And I sincerely hope that it’s more than a token offering to assuage my conscience, that it is real and justified and does indeed lead to life, so I will throw some dollars into that, and just embrace this soaring through the clouds that I do with intention.

It all amazes me, and I see clearly a miracle unfolding before my eyes, and it comes forcefully (with gentle abruptness?) at times, and at other times, it is almost excruciatingly pleasant in its subtlety. I have no idea if any of this makes sense, but there it is.

Today, I delivered on route Salvation and then took an hour from my buddy on route 2242. And when I get that hour from him, another miracle occurs: route 2242 immediately becomes route “Prayer.” And regardless of the time, I will end on Ray’s Farm.

I had been at Ray’s last week too, on Saturday. I was not on the route, I just took the time that I had on my hands and went at the end of the day. I stopped to pray in the silence, broken only by the breeze, and then continued on around the road between his house and the barn. Ray was standing there with his dog. Ray’s mind is sharp, but his body is failing. He stood there with his walker, and I called to him from my truck to see if he was okay or if he needed anything. I could tell he was open to conversation, and so was his dog, so I hopped out and we visited through all of the time that I had that day.

He asked me how his road was since the county had bladed it, and I told him it was smooth and that they’d not gone too deep with the blading and that he still had plenty of gravel. Then he said that he thought the mail had come earlier and I said that I was sure it had, but it wasn’t me this time. I like to come here at the end of my day and park for a while, I told him, and is that okay with you if I do that? He smiled and nodded and I do believe that he knows how special it is back around the curve where the chestnut trees are.

We talked about chestnuts a bit, and I told him about the last time we had visited; it was when he and his boys had the crop spread out for sorting last October. 257 five-pound bags, he told me, was what they’d gathered. You have to pick them one at a time, he told me, and he smiled again. Then as if to change the subject he told me to walk behind the barn and look at his tomatoes back there. Squash too. And pumpkins which “ain’t of no use” he was saying as I walked behind the barn and crossed the small bridge. His dog was my buddy by now and here she came too, dragging her leash toward me. And she did get that scratch behind her ears again as she followed me back to where Ray stood with his walker. Ray’s dog is like Ray is, not at all needy, but appreciative of good company and an occasional pat on the head. I made certain that both the two stalwarts received that from me before I had to move on. I’ll see you again soon, Ray . . . I was hoping, as I drove away circling around onto Harmony Road.

Today, at the end of the day, I was back at Ray’s. My radio was on, and just as the front of my truck passed the third chestnut tree and I looked to my right, this began playing:

Photograph “It Is No Accident” © 2018 Timothy Waugh