We arrived home from Brooklyn just 15 minutes before the heavens exploded with buckets of rain. The deluge is ferocious right now, bold and nearly impenetrable, but afterwards our hills will sing with gratitude as the humidity, heat and darkness dissipate. Our quick trip south had no reason except to hold loved ones close one more time in their old condo. They will be moving a few blocks away into a brownstone at the end of July. So, it felt important to gather again as a family in a place that has been saturated with love, significance and tenderness. Indeed, this was reason enough to rearrange schedules, put Lucie back in the kennel and hassle with some gnarly traffic leaving the City after twenty-four hours.
During those hours, however, we got to play in a water park with our little man and eat Palestinian cooking with our sweet family. After dinner I got to spend an hour on the floor with Louie talking, reading a few of his favorite books and snuggling - with more than our share of belly laughs, too. This morning, we got to greet him when we woke up: he sat in my lap and chatted quietly while drinking his milk. Then it was more wrestling on the floor and laughter before heading out to the Brooklyn Museum. Later still, while his momma and Di finished their sandwiches, I got to plunk him into a huge outdoor vase that echoed and reverberated whenever it was touched making us both laugh like fools yet again.
It was tearful for each us to say good-bye. These moments are never to be wasted or taken for granted. They must be claimed and honored, cherished and safe-guarded, because they are sacred gifts from God. Last night Louie started to wind down as we lay upon the floor. He rested his head on my arm and then rolled on top of me to share his best bear-hug. "This," I thought to myself, "this, is holy ground." And I was right.