I’m sitting on my front porch. It is the last day of June, 2008 at around 8:00 in the evening and I'm in a rare quiet, contemplative, questioning, and wondering mood. The Sun is preparing to set in the dusty grey-blue Southern California sky. A line of clouds directly to the west, and sitting somewhat low in the sky, are slowly starting to fill with color.
There is a summer breeze blowing. The giant Oak tree across the street is playing the rustling rhapsody of the wind. Cars go by on the busy avenue in front of me. A train whistle blows off in the distance and I begin to hear -- and feel -- the ever-increasing weight induced rumble announcing its arrival into my neighborhood.
Overhead, Crows are flying en masse to their evening resting place among the many Eucalyptus trees that line Plaza Del Amo. There must be hundreds of them. Their noisy calling card fills the air as they loudly proclaim that they are back from wherever their day has taken them.
A transit bus goes by with its diesel engine roaring and air brakes hissing. I watch as it rumbles noisily down the street fulfilling the obligations of its daily route. My eyes are drawn to the showery, hypnotic motion of a rain-bird sprinkler as it nourishes the parched front lawn of a house across the street. Its aquatically generated chatter provides a strangely relaxing melody to me, awakening within -- for some unknown reason -- memories of yesteryear, of simpler times, of the innocence of youth. I close my eyes and breathe it all in. Deeply.
A new sound breaks the reminiscing and I look up to see a single-engine airplane as it flies southward toward another routine landing at Zamperini Field a few of miles away. The blueness of the sky is giving way to darker shades of grey as the daylight continues its never-ending westward trek. The clouds have now become a beautiful bright orange appearing as a brilliant brush stroke across a massive ethereal canvas.
A late arriving Crow, lastly and loudly, announces his tardiness to whoever cares to listen to him. It is the last call. The streetlight has come on. The Sun has now gone, disappearing over the horizon. The sky is growing darker still as night comes, carried in on a gentle and welcome cooling breeze.
These are the sights and sounds of my street, of my neighborhood, of suburbia.
These are the sights and sounds of God’s creation.
For 20 minutes one evening, these are the sights and sounds of life.
NOTE: This was penned Monday Evening, June 30th, 2008 -- One Hour and a Half before the Passing of Donna Fowler (see below). It seems that God was preparing me for what lie ahead as He was awakening me to the beauty of life, albeit temporal, that is all around us.