A cool breeze throughout the day kept it from becoming too hot. Though, to be honest, I miss the fifty degree days. Tonight the stars shine bright, I love that I see more of them now, I wasn’t sure it would be worth it. The pines are gone, I thought I would miss them. I don’t really, except for the fact that nary a squirrel has been by since they were cut. Too difficult to get on the balcony.

The cloud of swallows flying above and around me earlier today while on the lake still brings a smile. I was reminded of Hitchcock, of course, only they had not the slightest bit of malevolence. Their little faces peeking out of the mud nests, so well crafted beneath the tower. Then flying out, around and back, a flurry of noise and activity all around. It was a great sight, and peculiar since I was steering for better views in a kayak, in the middle of a lake.

They are the same type of birds who come to San Juan Capistrano every year. Their home here seems to be quite secure, if at times a little noisy from the motor boats pulling skiers every so often.

I realized this today, I’m not sure why. There are different types of people in this world. That’s not the realization. I realized as two motor boats were speeding across the lake, filling the area with their loud noise, going fast, a thrill to be sure. They were missing a great deal of what I was experiencing. For them it was a search for speed, to dominate the lake, to impose themselves upon it and move, loud and quickly. That is one type of person.

I’ve always been attracted to other ways of interaction. Rather than dominate and impose I want to experience the thrill of participation, whether it be through the wind carrying sail, or through the quiet movement of pushing myself through the water, able to feel and experience the nuances of weather and water, hearing only the sounds which nature herself makes.

If given the choice more people would choose to go skiing or open the throttle all the way. Not me, no appeal. Today on the lake I had no interest whatsoever in being on those boats. I can go faster in a car, I suppose. I can’t always glide along the water, feeling the chop underneath, hearing the water splash, running my hands through it as I move along. The only time I felt an interest in something else was when I went by a sailboat, whose owner had left the jib up and flapping in the wind. It was the height of sloppy seamanship, but I loved the sight, and would have loved to raise that main and take the boat out for a bit.

It’s not quite as good exercise, however, so I’ll stick with the kayak.

This says a lot about me, I suppose. I’m not one to feel joy in mechanical noise, or to celebrate conquering nature. I want to learn, to feel the fluidity of it all, to glide in this world as one with the world around.

That is the way of the Spirit as well, which is maybe why I despise attempts to manipulate or overmanage. The Spirit is like water and wind, to learn the ways of the Spirit we cannot barrel our way through, trying for speed, making noise which hides the powerful whisper.

To act in a way we listen is a slower way, arriving takes longer. There is not the quick rush, the thrill of the moment. It is difficult, and at times frustrating. That’s why it’s so important to look around, to take in that which goes by slowly, to recognize the nuances of life as it does come, to celebrate the beauty that others miss, to enlarge our soul by way of limited perspective.

It’s about learning to see, and like stars in the night, one cannot see right away all that is there. Nor does it help to go many places, wander around for stimulation, for the mind becomes dulled, too much to take in.

So, as the monks of old, the greats who sought Christ in the wilderness because they could not find him in the usual places, I am learning the lessons. Patience, faith, steadfastness, work, hope, and staying put. I haven’t learned these yet, I still rebel, I still seek that which is beyond me, to find an advantage, to prove myself to others. This is a long road, and I am young.

I look around today and I take joy in what I saw, feeling a need to do still more practical work, understanding that I am doing what I can. Having prayed I trust God has heard my prayer. What I am learning too, is the lesson of living in faith even without seeing, maybe without ever seeing.

Habakkuk said, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalts, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength, he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”

That is the lesson I am learning. To look and be joyful. I’ve said all my life I believe in God and Christ, in love and eternity. Now, it is my chance to show that I really do believe it all. That is the gift of lack and frustration. Faith becomes real. A fractured time can become a treasured time, all in an instant. This all I am learning, not yet grasping, though finally beginning to approach. I hope.