ANGELS IN THE ROOM

 

ANGELS IN THE ROOM

August 10, 2020

By Arthur H. Gunther III
thecolumnrule.com

“Religion” is no longer organized or traditional for this writer though I have respect for all beliefs and for the utter great goodness of those humanitarians found within them who as reward regularly suffer the slings and arrows and condemnation of some institutional leaders and policies. An old story, lived vividly by the Christ of the Christians.
But this is not an essay on religion. It is about angels in the room whether you believe in them or not. Call the spirits what you will if you do not cotton to any god or hereafter. Yet I challenge you to say you have not met an angel in the room, your room.
A few years ago, off the Kings Highway on Cape Cod, not far from Welfleet, my family and I were gathered at a rented home the driveway of which was deeply rutted, not paved, just like the old orchard paths I walked along as a child in Rockland County, N.Y. On the Cape, on that driveway, I quite suddenly found an absolute calm, a warming feeling much like a comfortable blanket. Others were talking, but all I heard were the chirping birds you notice in your youth on a spring day, and a quieting — and you can hear the quiet — of my soul. I was both in the mortal world of a vacation landscape but also traveling with the angels. For just a very short time, all was right. I was cozy, without fear of any sort.
On only a few occasions in a lengthened life have I noticed the angels. Once on an evening walk on South Mountain Road in my county, again in quiet, another time heading to kindergarten and climbing a small hill to get there. A strong, rising sun, more quiet and those birds. Just 5, I felt life would be OK. Only angels tell you that at such an age.
Who knows what trials any life will bring? What happiness? What is just plain ordinary?
Just expect that out of the blue, faith and prayers or not, a very rare visit of utter calm and affirmation of hope will arrive. Perhaps that is all that is needed to endure. Angels in the room.

The writer is a retired newspaperman. ahgunther@yahoo.com

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MORNING VISITORS

August 3, 2020

By Arthur H. Gunther III

thecolumnrule.com

     Ordinarily, birds would not attract notice in the backyard. Laissez-faire: they go about their life, and I do the same. Do like their singing, chirping, fact that they are there, which probably means no horror story like a hurricane is coming or a win by the indecent in Election 2020.

     So, birds are quite welcome, as I hope I am to the creatures, for I both respect and feed them. But now, rather than a fact of living for this human, birds have become morning companions.

     In the time of virus, with so much stay at home, the rituals, the habits, the ordinary doings have changed. No longer rushing out the door to buy the papers, grab the coffee, park the car and read in that great quiet we must all have if only for a moment, the scene has changed to reading a delivered newspaper, making what may or may not be coffee at home, sitting on the back porch and having the birds drop in to eat their morning bread at the feeder/birdhouse.

     Never knew there were so many bluebirds, and that they are hogs, repeatedly swooping in to grab. There are sparrows, too, and a few colorful birds with red heads or scarlet coloring.

     They know when you are heading out to feed them, with the word passed along in rising chatter, the bird world’s telegraph.

     All in all, delightful morning guests. Or perhaps I am the visitor.  

  The writer is a retired newspaperman. ahgunther@yahoo.com