Such love does the sky now pour, that whenever I stand in a field, I have to wring out the light when I got home. — St. Francis.
I was fortunate as a child growing up in Memphis. When I would get home from school, I would immediately throw down my books and head outside unless it was pouring down rain and even then I might still go outside. I wasn’t expected to come back inside until dinner time. There might be a sandlot baseball game across the street in the Waring’s yard, next to field was an empty lot we affectionally called “the junkyard.” That was where we built a treehouse. I might ride my bike to my friend’s house, and we would ride the neighborhood, or explore the train tracks for nuggets of gold. I also would explore the creek that ran through my grandmother’s yard catching crawdads, tadpoles, or pick fresh blackberries. The outside was my field of Assisi, and each day a new adventure.
When I would come in for supper my clothes needed like Francis a wringing out, but not of light. More likely my pants were caked in mud, torn where I had fallen off my bike doing something stupid, or wet from crawling in a drainage ditch. Yet Francis and I had the same experience — the sky, the neighborhood, the trees and yards had refilled my tank with nature’s love.
Those days are long gone, but never forgotten. The question we must ask is, “Where do we refill our tank with love these days?”