Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A Place To Land

The day began with a hard wooden bench in a church constructed of stone and mortar. A white casket in the middle aisle held a body ready to be consecrated to the winters earth. What began as pain and blood and water was now finished and would today be returning to the dust from whence it had come. But only a cold and lifeless body lay enshrouded in the pale white coffin. The soul, the spirit, has flown to its maker. The tears born from beings of clay were most surely not heard in the heavenly realms where the cries were of the joy experienced as a wandering soul returned home.

The slow, rain soaked drive to my office was punctuated by a warm soft drink and a slice of cold pizza purchased from a place that specializes in selling fuel for vehicles and not the human body. Funny how temperatures often invert at the least desirable moment.

An arrival at a desk brought my action to a crawl as phone calls were returned, emails were read, and the foundation for plans were laid pertaining to an evening meeting. I am not a man of details. Desk time is ugly time. Sometimes ugly is necessary.

Home came none too soon. A quick glance at the news, an hour of "quiet time" in my home office, and the bride of my youth and I were off for a meal of hastily prepared italian food and the aforementioned meeting. All went well.

And the day was over. My "she" went to bed early, having slept poorly last night. I turned my attention to an unwelcome and yet needed home repair, washed my hands, and allowed my heart to take over.

And so it is that I find myself at my landing spot. It is a blue chair, half reclining, half supporting. As I rest in it, it rests in the room I call my favorite. The craftsmanship is far from perfect but it was created with my own hands. The slate blue coloring of the upper walls gives way to the white wainscoting below. The hardwood floor is mainly covered with a rug that stands out and brings color to the tameness of the blue and white. And the walls. The walls are covered with items of meaning. They would bring little on the open market. And yet to me they are priceless. Autographed baseballs from childhood heroes. A classic bobble head collection of saints the likes of Martin Luther, John Calvin, and the evangelist of all time, Billy Graham. I wonder if they would be proud to be so enshrined? There are rocks collected from vacation beaches and active volcano's visited in my past. My childhood first basemen's baseball glove. No, don't bend it! It will crack in half with age. And so will I if I do not land in this chair.

Yes, this is the place where my day ends. The place where the landing gear of my life is lowered and I descend from cruising altitude into this tiny corner of a room that I call my personal hanger. More rightly, my cave. It is dark, it is quiet, it is filled with history. My history. A picture of a dashing soldier in dress uniform greets me and I see the smart smile of my father, a decade removed from life now. An authentic baseball jersey bearing the number 31 of the Chicago Cubs, personally autographed with the addition of the numbers of strike-outs, career wins, and year voted into the baseball Hall of Fame. A part of Ferguson Jenkins over my left shoulder and a neon sign screaming "Cubs" glowing over my right. This room is as close to home as I get on this tumbling sphere named Earth.

A place of peace. A place of solitude. A place where I spend as much time prostrate before God on the floor as I do reclining with an open Bible in my chair. Everybody needs one of these.

A place to land.

Where I land.

These are a few of my favorite things. (Song reference not intended.)

My favorite book case containing a copy of "The Biography of Martin Luther" dated 1873.

"The Glove" and an original brick with paint intact from "Old Comiskey Park," former home of the Chicago White Sox ... where my dad use to take me to ball games.

My father's "WWII Dog Tags" and my first wedding ring (which my finger out grew. I kept the same wife and simply changed rings.)