When Evan says, “Come with me, I have something to show you,” the best and only response is to put on my shoes and follow. One time, he took me to the grocery store for marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers, and when we got home, he showed me the tree branches he’d carved into skewers and we cooked s’mores over our Weber grill.
Last week, he drove us down the street where a parked truck was filled with sweet corn. We bought a dozen. Later that day, he led me into our backyard and pointed to an upside-down wheelbarrow, surrounded by a jungle of weeds. “I’m going to turn it over,” he said. “This thing hasn’t been moved in over three weeks. Can you imagine what critters have probably made their home under there? I knew you’d want to see.” He was right. Maybe there will be a snake, I thought. Or even better, a salamander! I held my breath as he inched closer and began to lift the metal frame. I got out my phone and zoomed in to catch video evidence. Evan gave the wheelbarrow a good shove and it fell on its side. I gasped in anticipation as we crowded around the naked dirt. But the only thing we saw in that space were a few brave weeds and one small, black beetle. “Worth it,” I said and we both laughed and returned to the house.
Yesterday I was weeding our tomato garden and I walked over to the wheelbarrow, pushed it upright, and started wheeling it over to my pile of weeds when I heard a rustling sound and looked down to see a thin snake slithering away from that same spot. I wish Evan had been there to see it. It was black with two yellow stripes, and God is showing me more of who He is in these backyard critters, these Iowa thunderstorms, and in the slowing down and looking around. It might sound like the most cliché, small town country life to roast marshmallows over a grill or get excited about a snake, but Mary Oliver once wrote about a moth, that: “if you notice anything/it leads you to notice/more/and more.” And I’d rather put on my shoes and get excited over the small things than miss anything. So come with me, I have something to show you.
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