On Saturdays growing up with my grandparents, we loaded the car with beach bags full of towels, a picnic basket with sandwiches, pork rinds and those vibrant colored aluminum cups that are now back in vogue. We joined the other weekend warriors at Lake Wauwanoka. Escaping the city for a quiet lunch on a roof covered slab of concrete and a swim in the seaweed infested warm water.
In a cornflower blue swimming cap with floppy flowers, grandma practiced her sidestroke around me in the water, while grandpa sat on the sandy beach and snoozed. I can still picture the houses dotting the landscape on the banks of the lake.
Remember how lucky I thought those kids were that jumped off the docks extending from those homes. Dreamt of what it might be like to fall asleep under the stars and then wake up to all that shimmering light on the surface of the water.
Fast forward several decades and my kids lug bags of food, clothes, guns for target practice to the car. We accept an invitation from friends, drive out to the country, spend the day at their farm.
Arrive to unexpected construction workers. Ladders and drop cloths strewn throughout each room. Contents of kitchen cabinets line counters. Furniture piles to the center of each room. Paint fumes intoxicate.
And this unexpected intrusion becomes gift. Because we sit outside, enjoy the beauty. Feel His presence in the rustle of the crunchy leaves as the wind blows light. Absorb the warmth of sun on the skin. Sink teeth into crunchy fried chicken from the country store because we can’t cook.
While boys and Dads hold big guns, practice shooting targets and take kayaks into blue water, I sit still in adirondack chair. Absorb this stillness, this masterpiece for the eyes with my friend and her baby – the precious gift surprising them all. And we talk.
Without distraction, a list to check off or a clock to watch for our next appointment. We enter kairos, God time.
And this being taken away from what overloads the senses in daily life, it makes the crooked places straight. To see how the trees grow, the beavers build, the wild turkeys dart through tall grass. Hear the crunch of grass under foot, the lap of water against muddy shores, the howl of dogs in the distance. It settles one back, gives perspective, clarity.
When was the last time you experienced kairos?