The kitchen is still save for the hum of the refrigerator. I can feel the vibrations in my bare feet. A chill drifts through the open window, just enough to remind me it's September. The pottery coffee cup she gave me for Christmas is filled to the rim with Seattle's Best. Right beside it rests The Book of Common Prayer, the morning Psalms having faithfully been read: Consider this well, you who forget God, lest I rend you and there be none to deliver you. "Rend" - what a brazenly beautiful word. I don't know anyone who uses that word except God.
I can faintly hear the traffic warming to life. The high whine of tractor trailers getting somewhere on time. The mop and bucket sit close to door; she mopped yesterday but the clean was short-lived, with kids and a Beagle and all. The pewter star that says HOPE hangs in the window from a suction cup. The chilled breeze blows it. HOPE sways gently, gently. Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you.
The oven clock reads 5:39, as does the microwave display. Wait, they just changed their minds - 5:40. The oven beat the microwave by a second. The remains of scratch paper are on the kitchen table; we scratched out division problems last night. I hear a toilet flush in the back of the house. Someone is relieved. I hear Aspen leaves shudder outside the window. Relief of a different kind. I stir the dregs of the coffee one last time to coax those holdout sugar grains into the last sip. The sweetness hurts my teeth, hurts good. Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
I stretch my arms above my head. Both shoulders pop and groan as they fill with blood. A train sounds its lonesome call once, twice. It is closing in. Soon its rumbling will filter through the open kitchen window, joining the vibrations of the refrigerator, and rattling HOPE, gently, gently. 5:50. Time to think about wiping the counter of the Dirty Shame and turning on the dark. I've got to get a shower and if I'm not out by 6:20 on the dot, my firstborn feels anxious. We, the two of us, are out the door when the oven and the microwave read 7:10. Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me.
Thank you, Lord, for this new day. Give me eyes and ears and bare feet to see and hear and feel the good vibrations pregnant in this day, this gift. O God, not bound by time, I am and it's 5:58 and my firstborn...well, you know all things. Amen and amen.