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At 7:15 A.M., I woke with this restoration dream:

I am alone, following a wooded trail, patterned by shadows of overhanging leaves. Up ahead, through the trees, appears to be an abandoned structure. As I get closer, I note its sides missing, some of its timbered posts, charred. I step inside. Pine needles and other tree debris litter the earthen floor. I look up. Tiles of mud-colored turtles, some of them cracked, adorn the ceiling. It feels like there has been a fire in the past.

This glimpse into my psyche suggests destruction, neglect, the process of rot already eating at the heart of what was once a structure, built and used by others, perhaps for rituals to honor the Sacred. Mud-colored turtles, the ceiling’s adornment, must have played a part in their rituals. Being a water creature, the turtle suggests creation and the after-life; it symbolizes longevity, order, and protection, there being much evidence of such found among Native American tribes.

My present study of the Ioway tribe in nineteenth-century Missouri may have influenced my Dreamer to incorporate turtles in this dream, as well as my wonder of the after-life and how we will experience the peoples of the world, in their otherness.

It’s comforting to know such a structure exits in my psyche where I can go anytime and restore it, with help.

With the psalmist, I pray, Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor, in vain. (27:1)

Stand with Scrooge hearts and burn out or…

Stand with the like-minded and thrive …

“Here! Take the end of your stick and I’ll guide you to the treadmill,” said a petite woman, her thick white hair bobbed below her ear lobes, her soft grey eyes and mouth suggesting they’d been partners for a long time.

Ahead of me, leaning against the wall of the corridor at the YMCA was another senior, also with curly hair and a neat mustache. His unbuttoned long sleeve shirt appeared threadbare with washings, his Stars n’ Stripes suspenders hitched to faded jeans, with no hips to hold them up.

He knew what to do. With both hands he gripped the end of his white cane and followed, one slow step followed by another, until they stopped behind the treadmill. After she helped him climb on and set the controls, she turned on the one next to his, and together they walked.

This elder man was no stranger, although drastically altered in appearance. On my way to meetings, most Sunday mornings, I used to watch him climb the hills in my neighborhood, his blind stick instructing each step he took. I often wondered who took care of him, his grooming and attire always in good taste. Never was he without his high visibility vest with safety stripes that complimented his khaki pants. He seemed aware of seasonal changes and the beauty around him. Although he was alone, he was always companied, his joy overflowing.

Then, I often bemoaned my sightedness that missed out on life’s fullness. It still occurs.

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