Tender Mercies

It was hard for me to feel peaceful in Paris, what with the busyness of the place and all.

Then I remembered the harp store.

Our hotel was on a narrow streets not far from the Arc de Triomphe. On our first night there, we had walked to a little bodega (not sure what the French word would be) at the end of the street to buy something and the poor store owner was in the midst of an argument with a couple who looked strung out on something. He would glance nervously at us, the naive Americans, and argue a little more in French with the couple. It probably was a good thing I couldn’t understand what was being said.

In my heart, I bemoaned the city. It was all too much.

But the next morning, when I stepped out the door, I saw the harp store, wedged into a tiny space precisely where I couldn’t miss it.

It was lovely and reminded me of those tender mercies God gives us to help us remember Him.

Yesterday, back in rural New York, I was reminded over and over of those little mercies all around me.

As I drove Mary into work, I turned onto the street where Cooperstown has their helicopter pad. I quickly pulled my phone out of my pocket and handed it to Mary.

“What?” she asked.

“Get some pictures,” I said.

The state police were taking their dogs-in-training for helicopter rides. Mary snapped a bunch of pictures.

“They’re probably pretty bad,” she said apologetically.

“That’s okay,” I told her. “I just want to remember this. It’s pretty awesome that we live in a town where dogs get to go for helicopter rides.”

The line of police cars at the helicopter pad

Where else could I go to see such a sight?

On my evening walk, the cows were in the field near the road.

A week ago, another blogger had written about playing Queen and watching the bovine reaction — “most of their uncomprehending faces turned toward the noise, and turned right back to chewing cud sightlessly.” A few nights later I decided to play a little music for the cows near me. Mozart — one of my favorites, and what I had been listening to — elicited little-to-no reaction.  They perked right up for Andrew Peterson though; some even approached the fence. (For the record, it was “Hosanna” that I played.)

Owen thought I should play John Gorka’s song “Winter Cows” for them. So last night, that’s what I did. This was their response.

Hmm… I wonder what it is about Andrew Peterson.

Also, where else could I test out cows’ listening preferences on my evening walks?

Further on, I saw a deer.

She watched me for a while before bounding away.

And then there was the sunset — all golden and lovely.  

The steadfast love of the Lord isn’t just new every morning. It’s there throughout the day if we but open our eyes to see it.

Manure

You city folks may not understand this
But I love the days when I step outside, and
With one breath I know they’re
Spreading manure down the road

The smell is rich and rank
Honest
No pretense about manure
That’s fer sure

City smells bother me
Exhaust and exhaustion
Mingled with too many people
And not enough sky

Rain on concrete
Smells like waste
But rain on manure
Smells like hope

Daily prompt: lifestyle