It is hot today. Chances are that this will be the last hot day of the year. As the sandpaper in my hand mechanically strokes the board, my thoughts reflect that torpor. I’m not thinking much. I’m sleepy, tired, and mentally dragging – yawning internally. My eyes slowly blink as I watch the wind tickle the trees. The stirring of the leaves makes it look like the trees are giggling.

My amusement soon switches to annoyance. End of the summer means the yellowjackets are out in force, and they are operating aggressively. Mom said she’d seen one earlier that day stalking a disabled grasshopper. Their hard lines and bright colors emphasize their swaggering, predatory arrogance. I don’t like them. After all, an angry jacket (and they have no patience this time of year) can sting, run away, and live to sting another day. It makes them bad company. Carefully, I shoo them away from where I’m working, and I set myself to watch for their return. They can’t take a hint, and it won’t matter that I’ve nothing nearby for them to eat. They’ll be back.

Goodness, I’m warm. The breeze is a nice idea and keeps the air from being completely smothering, but the breeze itself is pretty warm. The dust from my sanding is not helping, either. Actually, there is a lot of dust in my area. I had to cut those boards before I could sand them, and the fine, white powder is everywhere. It clings to me, to my clothes, and – oddly enough – the boards themselves. I’m not used to that. Sawdust is usually a little more coarse and sloughs off the boards happily enough. This stuff requires brushing and pounding and unusual effort to remove it. I’m having trouble getting rid of it. It makes me feel a little bit more sorry for myself.

I’m still watching for those yellowjackets, who I feel are undoubtedly infernal agents sent to torment me and everybody else outside today. I see something yellow and black hovering over one of my discarded boards. Alarm strikes me, but then I realize the yellow is really gold, and this hoverer is fuzzy. It’s a honeybee. I don’t exactly like bees, but I appreciate them, their honey, and their habit of pollinating flowers. This one’s behavior interests me. Bees like blossoms, but this bee seems out of place. She’s hanging out around my icky sawdust. Curious, I watch her, and I see her get so close to the board that the breeze from her wings stirs the sawdust. It gently pushes the dust away from her.

Something happens in me as I watch the dust waft away.  It’s almost like a cool breeze that I feel inside. My soul feels refreshed, hopeful even, and I wonder why. A thought lifts on that stirring of hope. It’s a verse, Genesis 2:7.

7 Then the LORD God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

I smile. “God can work with dust.”


– from yesterday, September 11, 2011