My wife and sons have been in Louisiana on a mission trip.  So, my daughter Elysa and I have been enjoying a week of papa/daughter time.  Despite the fact that we miss the rest of the Leap family immensely, we have enjoyed our days and nights.  And one of the things we’ve enjoyed most has been our evening swims.

Around 7 PM, we slip into the pool.  The sun is going down behind the Blue Ridge Mountains, and sometimes light streams through broken clouds, leaving golden halos around the water vapor suspended far above us as we float in its related, liquid H2O.  Tonight, even Ajax the dog paused and looked up, taking it all in with the kind of perfect peace only a dog can enjoy; right before running into the woods to chase something and immediately forgetting whatever sublime emotion he was experiencing.

Our swims are casual affairs; we paddle back and forth, play games, balance on floating toys and jump into the pool to watch the waves multiply and cancel across the length and width of our tiny sea.

Other things love the evening swim.  We are visited by dozens of wasps and bees, which dip gently into the water and never, ever disturb us.  I fish them out whenever they’re trapped, and set them free in the grass.  Tonight we had a beautiful dragon-fly that required gentle rehab from being mildly water-logged.  He was resting on a sponge, on a deck chair, as we came in for the night.

We have retrieved one unfortunate dead snake; a young snake, likely born only this year.  And we have been assaulted by horse-flies, which attack one or two at a time, seeking our blood, and forcing us beneath the surface like subs before aircraft.  I do not show them the same mercy as I show our other visitors.  For they are rude, and I smack them down whenever possible.  After all, I cannot allow them to bite the princess, can I?

The clouds, the setting sun, the smooth, clear water all set a tone of absolute serenity, one respected by almost every creature that visits us.

Heaven must be a bit like that.  Except that the horse-flies, while present, will not bite, but sing beautiful songs of praise and wonder in our ears, whenever they land.

Good night, and  ‘flights of angels sing thee to thy sleep.’


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