Like the invisible coyotes that streak through the woods to the fringes of our town, a bawling wind of voices. They’ve come too close, the village complains. Perhaps. I’ve heard the squeals of chipmunks caught in the fur-fire. People plug their ears, follow their dogs out at night. But still, I open my window to their shrill, persistent haunting, fall asleep to the blessed assurance of a pulsing, moon-ticked pack loping over the fallen leaves in the darkness, working together for some kind of good.
Twenty-five years after Praying the Prayer, when my new life was supposed to snap in place like elastic, the smell of crisp, store-rack cotton propelling me to run with endurance toward a finish line I could not see,
I lie on the couch with a sour-smelling terrier curled in the crook of my leg. Today I will bathe him, punch through three Keurig cups, run a trumpet book to the grammar school. No martyrdom here, no preaching in the streets, though tomorrow I might plant another bag of daffodils so in April I can kneel in the gold and thank All Things New once more.
But now I turn my eyes to things above in the window, squirrels gibbering in the canopy of my backyard maple. I doze and wake to their claws skittering down the trunk, mentally etch the face of Christ in the bark.
He doesn’t need me. He wants me. Neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, tired nor on fire. I will slip into newness again, fluff the shaking, sodden dog in His name as He drapes me with his soft and silent weaving.