This afternoon was a gift from God. How else can I describe that kind of perfection? Some moments are too marvelous to be the sum of the various components.

I was sitting at my computer listening to Bach's Magnificat with the overhead light off, just the strand of Christmas lights around the window aglow, and the door open so that I could smell and hear the rain along with the music. Annie was walking to her room, but stopped and walked into my room instead. We had an amazing talk about the Cotes and Victoria, when friends become more than friends, roommates, and children's books. We prayed together, laughed, and shared the unexpected blessing of a half hour of close conversation. This is why I love IMPACT.

I had just finished reading The Garden of Abdul Gasazi by Chris Van Allsburg to Annie when Alex strolled by with his guitar and took refuge on our porch. Drawn by the appeal of guitar music and rain, we went outside and started chatting with him. Annie wandered away, but I wanted to play in the rain, and I ended up blowing bubbles while standing in the downpour and listening to Alex play.

He got distracted when one of the bubbles went particularly far and high, but I said that they are extra strong because I breathe love into them. So Alex  caught some and I told him to translate all the love on his hands to beautiful music, an idea which piqued my fancy and led me to write a poem.

Peace: For Alex Purdie
Georgia rain shower;
Not quite autumn, not quite anything.
Water drops mingle with
the iridescent swirl and pop of soap bubbles,
floating on the love breath of my lips.

Guitar man with rain song strings,
He plays a simple melody.
But first- hand outstretched,
he catches love,
each little bubble happily dying because
their death is the voice of his tune.

I read it to Alex, who loved it. And he continued playing amazing songs on the guitar while I read poetry, and rain fell on everything.

But the surreality has not completely loosed its hold on me. David and Mary Michael gathered us all together for a surprise meeting where Sean informed us that he is leaving. I will never joke about the 25 cap again. I have at times struggled to serve him, but never desired his leaving. Without him, we are less.  He is not erased from our "family tree" simply because of his absence, but his departure leaves a Sean-shaped hole that nobody else is going to fill.

An afternoon of beauty, of tranquility, of paz, of pain. And we live on.

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