I love Autumn. I find the bright, glittery days invigerating. I love the coolness of the mornings & evenings. I love that it doesn't get too terribly hot for me & I can work solidly in my garden without feeling like I might just melt away at any moment.
This morning I was out early moving gently through my yard before the rest of the household was up tidying up the chaos my sons invariably leave behind them ~ petrol cans, bait buckets, plastic bags, buoys & floats & lengths of rope. Then I swept down my verandah & put all my garden furniture back where it belongs, got the shears & cut back some rampant shrubbery, filled the spray bottle with my poison of preference & sprayed the weeds. I think it was Kipling who said you're closest to God in a garden. I happen to believe that's true.
My garden will never win any contests for beauty. A lot of it has been left just as God designed it. I've just filled in the gaps, provided water for the birds that entertain my nutty cat & made somewhere safe for the firebugs to play. While I worked I contemplated the goodness of God.
It has been 3 years & counting since I spoke to my oldest son. It's complicated because he is a complicated person, highly intelligent & socially inept, prone to violent rages for no reason...yadda, yadda. Total emotional rollercoaster. For a while he was living in Brisbane. People would say, 'Oh, BTW, I saw Jossie in town,' but we never did. I probably don't frequent the parts of town Jossie did. So we knew he was o.k, or as o.k as he could be, & we knew he knew where we were because however difficult he was he was still our son & we've never turned our backs on him. I don't imagine he finds himself very easy to live with either. Then suddenly he just dropped off the radar.
I contemplated filing a missing persons report...but he wasn't really missing. He just didn't want to talk to us. Now I know the majority of the world would have done something. I'm not the majority of the world. I have the novelist's appalling habit of sitting back & watching to see how events unfold. Besides, God had already told me in no uncertain terms to take my hands off & leave Jossie to him. You've got no idea how hard that has been!
So I waited & watched...
I have this friend, an American friend, with whom I was pen pals for a while & very occasionally we'd chat on MSN but she had an old computer & she kept disappearing on me so when she suggested Facebook I reluctantly opened an account ~ as some of you now know! The girls have had one forever because that's how they keep in touch with cousins spread over 1/2 the country. So paddling round in this unfamiliar territory I typed in Jossie's name ~ & lo & behold he has a Facebook account too. And now I know why he dropped off the radar. It seems he has joined the army. As a Quaker it's certainly not my career of choice but I do see that the imposition of external discipline is probably exactly what Joss needs to get his life on track. More, I know he's not homeless...or in jail...or derelict, drug addicted, hungry & in need of the basic things in life & he could have been. He so very easily could have been.
I am so very grateful to know that he is ok.
God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform