Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guest Post by Donna VanderGriend

Our good friend and published authoress, Donna VanderGriend, is honoring us with 6 weeks of guest posts for our Wednesday posts.   Here is "Four Generations on Capturing the Moment, Part One."  

1.  Doing Sunset 
When you spend time in a condo on Anna Maria Island in Florida, you learn to “do sunset”…a little like stopping for vespers, a time of worship that helps you understand why early peoples had sun gods.  The retired and the tired bring their diet cokes or glasses of wine and join others sitting on outdoor chairs facing west.  The Gulf of Mexico spreads out its waters and becomes the stage for the orb’s drama.  Every evening’s show brings comments from the audience.  “Look at those colors.  What a blend of fire and blue.”  “Ah, don’t the cloud formations add to the masterpiece?”  “Watch for the green flash.” Irene says it’s not a flash; it’s more of an aura.   The cameras of the mid-aged (who are still trying new hobbies and toys) are poised and pointed and clicked.  Later they will be plugged into computers and digitalized onto the hard drive, then saved “in the clouds.”    If perchance the click caught the green flash, the photo will be proof of bragging rights: “I was in the right place at the right time and electronically equipped” as if simply seeing something assumes one has plumbed the physics of science or the mystery of the universe.  The worship goes egocentric.

Irene has written a book about herself, an attempt at archiving her 91 years.  She can’t remember what’s in it, but a younger neighbor can.  So he fills us in on particular highlights: that Irene was the only baby born in Nebraska’s governor’s mansion, and that she also accompanied both JFK and Bobby Kennedy on their campaign trails, introducing them from the back of a train as they railed through Nebraska’s towns. And Yes, of course, she’s still a Democrat.  As she watches another watcher take a picture of the sunset, she leans over toward me and says, “I took a picture of the moonset early this morning.”  (Who but the light-sleeping elderly would notice a scene like that?)  “I don’t know if it turned out,” she says.  “I have one of those cameras where you have to wait weeks for the developing.”

Our young grandsons have sat with us in the sand and watched that same sun go down.  They memorialized the moment by agreeing, “That’s ‘prolly’ what the gates of heaven must look like…a long ways away, all bright and shiny.”  I capture their conversation mentally so I can write it down and savor it later…pondering how God must have felt truly worshipped “from the mouths of grandbabes.”

1 comment:

janelle said...

love it. and love how we are always trying to put stakes into moments, as if we can somehow hold them down... sometimes the best we can do is let is wash over us---and show up each time to make sure we don't miss it. So glad you were in the right time and place to do 'the sunset'!