It was Monday, and my brain was moving very slowly. I turned to Psalm 19, as I’ve been trying to do all year.
“The heavens declare the glory of God,” I read. I started thinking about sitting on the deck to watch the heavens.
Early morning when the house gives us shade. It’s cool. The sky is clearly visible between the tops of the oak trees and the rooftop. There is enough space to see clouds, windshopped into interesting shapes. And blue. And the faint white moon.
Evening, after supper, after walking, after the coffee is brewed and the banana is sliced and mixed with shredded wheat, after the conversation quiets, both between birds and between us. The blue turns pink, the trees turn black.
And then I thought about the mosquitoes. Not deep-swamp, black clouds of mosquitoes. We have suburban mosquitoes. A slow buzzing, an occasional swelling on bare ankle or arm.
I scratched as I thought about the mosquitoes, and thought about all the times they bit and I left. Left the conversations between birds. Left the conversations between friends. Left the conversation between deep heaven and earth, the declarations of the glories of God, verse after verse, each shaded differently, notes changing nightly.
A few tiny buzzing bugs shut down life-changing conversations.
I could put something on my ankles. I could put candles on the corners of the deck, covers on the tops of my ears. If I really wanted to listen to the heavens and to the voices closer to earth and my heart, I could do many things to stop the distraction.
If I want to listen for God, there many small suburban distractions I could ignore and avoid.
But maybe avoiding the annoying itch is the most important evening task.
Pesky psalm. Stinging like that.