Elusive

“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in an clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.”
Mahatma Gandhi

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(female ruby throated hummingbird / Georgia / Julie Cook / 2014)

Sitting in the oppressive 97 degree heat on the back deck, under the stifling black awning, listening, watching, waiting.
Poised and ready.
Sweat begins to bead along the temples.
Finger resting gently on the button, as the camera is already zoomed and focused.
The air is heavy.
A distant peal of thunder breaks concentration.
The reverberating rumble, ominous, teases the painfully dry ground.

Suddenly there is a rapid series of high pitched chirps immediately followed by an unseen and ever nearing deafening vibration.
It is heard long before the eye can locate and focus.

CLICK

Upon inspection, a mere blur is almost totally out of the frame.
UGH!

Again.
Situate,
Position.
Zoom in
Focus.
Listen.
Watch.
Wait.

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As I sit waiting endlessly on the tiny band of hummingbirds which call my yard home–waiting for them to stop long enough for me to capture a quick stop at the feeder, verses their usual dive-bombing ariel displays which transpire throughout the day. . . my thoughts wander, as I sit in my frustration, pondering those things in my life which remain elusive, hidden, evasive–that which is just beyond my grasp.

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We all carry within our being “things” that seem to constantly and sadistically elude our grasp.
Those things which remain hidden in the shadows, whispering seductively to us from the dark.
Only being seen as a darting image out of the corner of a weary eye.
Toying and teasing with tender raw emotions, we continue to wait, watch, hope, lament.

Perhaps it may be for that heart wrenching relationship to mend and heal.
Perhaps the much longed for sense of security and safety.
A much needed job.
A much needed better job.
The needed refreshing and life giving rains.
The ability to finally and miraculously have that long awaited baby.
The frustrating and fraught efforts for the recovery from catastrophic injury.
The soothing sense of Peace.
The satisfaction of the never-ending Truth.
The tangible realness of one’s Faith.

Always remaining just barely out of reach–despite the outstretched arm, fingers straining outward–If only we could stretch just a little farther. . .
muscles ache and cramp,
almost there, just a little more. . .
straining for just one much inch. . .
suddenly and frustratingly sadly, the resignation and finality of the elusive once again,
haughtily laughs at the limitations of self,
as “it” escapes once again.

Money cannot procure it.
Pleading will not produce it.
Agility cannot capture it
Ingenuity will never create it.
Yearning will only add torment.
Stealth will never surpass it.
This world will never claim it.

The “it”, the “thing”, the need, the want, the “elusive”. . . is not of this world and you and I
will never catch or capture it as it is more than the mere wants and needs of our hearts.
It is the insatiable thirst and hunger of the soul which no one of this earth and no one thing of this life can ever satisfy. A longing and insatiable longing to be reunited with the Creator of the Universe.

Kingdoms have risen and fallen.
Monuments and wonders have been built and destroyed.
Wars have been won and lost.
And yet we all remain
wanting,
needing,
searching,
seeking,
thirsty,
hungry of heart and soul.

And just so you know, I finally got my long awaited picture, as the ones that you are seeing are not those— as my dear hummingbirds finally lit within range.
I clicked then checked—a great shot–a perfect shot.
No shadows.
No blurs.
Focused.
Detailed.
And yet,
just as I began the process of transferring the images from the camera to computer, oddly, there is nothing there.
Nothing
No images.
NO IMAGES??!!
For what reason of which I know not, the disc suddenly failed, the past two weeks of images, gone.
Disappeared.
Erased.
UGH.
Elusive to the end.

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I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:18-19

Hear the words of Paul, a prisoner of Rome, as he so beautifully and yet simply states the real quest of all of our souls—the meeting of all our needs and desires by the one true and only God through Christ, Jesus His son.
For it is here, in Him, in which all treasures lie—
and until you and I finally figure that out, we will continue spending a lifetime in the constant pursuit, the quest, of the Elusive.

Prisoner of the state or protective custody?

I live a very dull life here… indeed I think I am more like a state prisoner than anything else.
Martha Washington

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If you own a pet, you will understand this post. If you do not, perhaps you will be amused…..

Do you remember a while back when I wrote the post entitled “My best Friend”—it was about our cat Percy. Short for Perseverance. He was a rescue—or actually he is the one who picked us as his rescuers. I won’t spend our time this morning reliving his perilous beginning as you may wish to read that for yourself.

In a nutshell however—he was a tiny kitten, only 4 or so weeks old, who had been, what the vet believed, thrown from a car as his jaw was smashed, his nose broken, his right eye socket broken, he was covered with maggots and he had laid down to die, when he alerted us, rather loudly, to his presence.

We brought him in, gave him water, some mushy food, as his bottom jaw was a disaster and his teeth either gone forever, or those remaining were in such bad shape, poking every which a way, that they would eventually have to be pulled. We did not expect him to live through the night.

That was two years ago.

Yes, I am in love as he is my world. I suppose that happens when something, in such a terrible way, seeks you out for help….it was as if, once he knew we took action on his behalf, he could in turn, let go and rest in order to begin his healing and recovery—hence his Perseverance. He was not ready to die.

Percy has no teeth on his bottom jaw but for one remaining broken fang. This adds to his adorable misshapen mouth. His little pink bottom lip pokes out as if he’s being a bit pouty. His right eye appears a tad crooked in relation to the left eye. When he looks up at me, I melt. His demeanor is sweet and adoring…that is until the sound of an engine or passing car sounds too close for comfort, sending him into a nervous fit–it terrifies him.

Therefore he is not an outdoor pet whatsoever. When he was little I tried using a harness and leash with him as he’d want to follow our other cat, Peaches, outside. She’s older and he acts as if she’s his mother. Peaches in turn is very tolerable and babies him upon his request.

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Our short adventures outside would be a bit haphazard and a comedy of errors. Such as the time we were out on the front porch as Percy leaned a tad too far over the railing, slipping out of the harness, falling all of 2 feet to the pine straw below. He was fine, just startled–but I was the one running down the stairs in a panic. The walks would progress well until the inevitable car would pass by. At the sound of any motorized vehicle, be it a car, motorcycle or plane, Percy would proceed to go into a sheer irrational state of panic. Makes me wonder what he must remember from his terrible accident.

Needless to say the harness walks were short lived as Percy would scramble back up the steps, dragging me behind as I couldn’t keep up in his mad dash back to safety. In the long run, I decided going out was not in Percy’s best interest. He may think he really wants to spend time outside with Peaches watching the birds…. but I know that the open window in the back closet and his hanging out on the back deck are both calmer and safer.

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Fast forward to last week.
As my husband prepares to leave for work each morning, I feed both cats. Peaches immediately wants out the back door. Percy immediately wants out on the back deck. The back deck is about 12 feet off the ground. It’s been Percy’s outdoor world these past two years. He watches the birds and deer as they feed in the yard. The back yard is more or less like a pasture as that is what our property was before we built our house. I have plants scattered around for Percy to have a little greenery and he even has his own chair complete with cushions. Life on the back deck is good…or it was…..

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The problem is Peaches. Peaches we must remember comes and goes at will. She is outdoor and indoor. If she’s on the back deck with Percy and suddenly decides she needs to be elsewhere, she climbs down the railing if I’m not looking. If she’s in the yard and panics for some reason, she climbs up to safety on the deck.

Last Thursday morning, as usual, I let Peaches out the back door and Percy out on the back deck as I went off to take my shower. Each morning when I get out of the shower, I always check on Percy. This particular morning was no different as I wrapped up in a towel when I stepped out of the shower, heading to the kitchen door. Dripping along the way to the kitchen, not even dried off, I poke my head out the door looking on the deck expecting to hear the familiar mew of greeting. I don’t hear anything and worse, I don’t see him in his chair.
“Percy?”
I don’t see him sitting in the corner with his head poking through the railing looking at the birds.
PERCY
He’s no where.
I run to the railing, peering over…..
PERCY
No where!!
Panic sets in.

I run to the back door pratcially tearing it off the hinges, no Percy, but Peaches comes flying in the house and keeps looking back over her shoulder as she runs straight for the back deck, looking over the edge.
She knows.

“Clothes, I need some clothes!!!”
I was in such a state that running out the back door and down the back bank to the back yard, naked, all seemed rather logical, but luckily an inkling of sanity prevailed and I stopped long enough to grab something to put on.
I pull some shorts and a t shirt out of the dryer and run out the back door still pulling the shirt on over my head…
“PERCY!!!!!”

I run down the back bank…shades of a broken ankle quickly running through my head.
PERCY“…
rounding the corner I scrape my knee against a cement planter… now bleeding, I continue calling out his name….
PERCY“…
When suddenly to my relief a small little white head pokes out from under the four wheeler. It’s the same corner where I first found him two years before.
OH Thank God, Percy!!!
He doesn’t appear broken or hurt. I don’t know if he fell or half climbed down but I feared a broken leg.
I grab him when suddenly a motorcycle zooms past up on the road. He squirms loose scurrying under my husband’s little lake boat. UGGHH— I scramble around on my now bleeding knees trying to reach him. Finally he comes to me as I pull him out and hold him as tight as possible.

We go running up the bank. I’m still holding him as tight as possible. Percy is a nervous wreck and I’ve not trimmed his nails lately. Holes in my body. More bleeding.
We finally get to the backdoor. I’m thinking we’re home free when I try turning the door.
Locked!
In my panic and last minute decision to put on clothes before running outside in search of Percy, I did not think to unlock the door….
AGGGHHHH, are you kidding me???!!”
The key, the spare key!! I can’t climb up to the ledge to feel around for the key with Percy in my arms.
AGGHHHH
He’s 15 pounds–lean and long with nails, remember, I’ve not cut lately…
AGGGHHH….
“I know, I’ll close the garage door…no, no, I can’t do that, the noise will send him through the roof”…
AGGGHHH…..
Finally, I just put him down. By now he’s so scared he huddles at the door wondering why the door won’t magically open. I’m wondering the same.
I climb up on the ledge, hanging half on and half off, frantically feeling around for the key…finding it, I clamor down running to unlock the door.
Whew…..I say a silent prayer of thanksgiving……
I’m still soaking wet, now rather dirty, and bleeding…..

That evening my husband comes home from work as I recount the harrowing adventure. He doesn’t not seem nearly as alarmed as I think he should. In fact he looks at Percy and tells Percy he’s proud of him. “What?! Are you kidding, he could have been killed or broken…look at my knee…….

The following morning Percy heads to the deck door meowing for my husband to let him out. “NOOOO” I practically scream bounding over to block the door.
“Why don’t you let him out”….
“NO, he may jump or fall again”
“Julie, he can’t live like a prisoner”
He’s not a prisoner, I have to take care of him….
Now does this look like a prisoner to you?

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….And just so you know, I have let him back outside on the deck, but I stay in the kitchen with the door open or I’m outside sitting with him.
The question remains from my husband’s statement….When you’re loved that much, are you still a prisoner?
I don’t think the birds are missing one less outdoor cat……