This Summer’s Oasis

 An oasis is a place for rest and refreshment. There should be amenities to sooth tired feet and troubled minds. It is a place to pray away fears. A safe place to shed tears or laugh. We like to retreat from battle there. It is an appropriate place to regroup. To strategize. It can also be a place to get a few minutes break. Our patio is our own kind of oasis then.
   We take our suppers here often in the summer. Morning coffee, evening visits and tea with friends. It is the most used room in the house in summer. I scribble here. Elv studies here. We feel most blessed.
   This past week was full of thought provoking news and decisions. So, like Pooh, I was glad for a thinking spot.
   To begin with, Susan told us about the bud worm infestation happening on the north shore this summer. Will all of the spruce and balsam trees die? Really? I don’t want to imagine most of the forest in the area around Silver Bay, where their homestead is, dying out. And it is spruce trees that makes our acreage around the cabin beautiful. I thought about this all week. Elv and I discussed the possibilities of planting trees. We are so glad for the few maples that are already established there and the rest of the aspen and birch. These will redeem our forest there. I finally found the DNR forestry report for 2017. It really is a thing. The worst affected areas will lose up to 50% of the spruce and balsam trees. I hope the cedars will somehow be exempt. But that’s better than ALL of the trees dying. “Nature has a way of healing itself.” Elv comforted us with his logger knowledge and experience.
    Other news was that Elv and Lance will be working two hours away from home again for up to three months. This, the tears part of our lives this week for Kristine and I. Elv will be away from me/home, Monday to Thursday evening, each week. I tell him and myself, “Let’s not have drama about it. I will miss you; then we will be together all weekend. Trucker’s wives do this all the time, right?” But I’m not convinced. Neither is he. We discuss ways to alleviate the separation. We discuss job changes for both of us. We pray.  It feels ironic to me … “Together” is our word for our marriage this year.

 So Kristine and I shared with our church women in Sunday School class some of what is happening about our guys’ work situation. It was comforting. They promised to pray for us. Sunday School has often been a real oasis. Yesterday was exceptionally so. They listened and we prayed. They honestly cared about it, because we know each other so well. And everyone matters to each other. It is amazing what true caring can do for a heartache.
    Around the supper campfire last night with our church “small group” we discussed our “Jonah week” stuff together. Ben reported that the spray planes had moved in for two days and he wondered what they were targeting. So much for our bud worm infestation. Maybe we’ll keep our spruce trees after all.
   Even as we ask, Sovereign God is arranging solutions for our problems. Coming to the oasis of prayer is what we can do.
   And one more oasis from the week was an email circle letter with my sisters and mom. We are scattered over four different states, yet we can share this way to support other. We’ve gotten pretty good at getting across in words, feelings, emotions… with all the known inflections, our thoughts to each other.
   Finally, being present in this moment, with a grateful heart presents to me the very best oasis of all. God is here holding me … and you.


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