Our children and grand children have all grown…

which is as it should be…I don’t mind

but every now and then I miss the innocence they left behind…


It’s not that their innocence is gone forever. They will always have a trace…

It’s just that as they all grow older…other feelings take its place…


It’s funny as a father then grandfather…as our children and grandchildren grew…

once their innocence became a little buried…some of mine did too.


But yesterday for a little while…my circumstances turned

when a friend visited with Jaxson, her grandson…and my innocence returned.


We played with toys our children played with…matchbox cars, a ball…a train

but the most fun we had was outside…when I taught him how to make it rain.


I showed him how to hold the hose…”straight up like this”…I explained…

“and when you press the lever here…you can make it rain”.


At his age he doesn’t say a lot of words that is until we made it rain…when

I heard him say as plain as day…again…again…again.


And so we made it rain again and again…and again

the old man and Jaxon who’s about to turn three

Until a little rain was not enough and he turned the hose on me.


And so for the next few moments our destinies were set

and when the rain subsided…we both were soaking wet.


He waved as his grandmother took him home to change 

and with water dripping off my back

I waved goodbye to Jaxson…

as I welcomed my innocence back.

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Dear God,


It’s Billy, have you got a minute…I apologize for bothering you

with the entire universe to look after…

I imagine you have a lot to do


But have you checked in on the Earth lately…

perhaps from way up there it’s hard to tell

but I think if you look hard enough

you’ll see we’re not doing very well.


I know you must be happy with all the love down here

and that is a reason to celebrate…

but as happy as you are with all the love

you’ve got to be saddened by all the hate.


Which is why after church this morning 

I’m sending this prayer to you…

you see I’m afraid and confused and I’m worried

and I don’t know what else to do.


So God if you happen to have the time…

I wonder…could you to re-create….

a world that keeps the love that’s already here

but gets rid of all the hate?


I hope this isn’t too much to ask…

and I’m not even sure what kind of power you’ve got…

but if you could make this one prayer come true

it sure would mean a lot.


And if you make this dream come true…

in church will I never miss another Amen…

and I’ll make you this promise:

I’ll never bother you again!


Well I have to go now…

My mom says there are a lot of things I have to do…

And if you’re going to get rid of everyone’s hate

I imagine so do you.


Your friend,


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You have to love the reasoning of a child.

You have to stand in awe…

You have to love it

Oftentimes I think that, as adults…

we could use a little more of it…


Their son saw magic everywhere

In ever cranny 

and every nook

When they asked how he sees so much magic

He smiled…


because I know where to look.

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When he looked up at the sky, 

and saw the clouds 

he grinned….

then he climbed up to the top of his tree


and waited for the wind

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She knew her daughter’s heart was pure 

and that compassion she’d never lack

when the leaves began falling from the trees 


and she tried to put them back.

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We watched our granddaughter play volleyball…”There she is!” we both exclaimed

when she stepped onto the court…when she got into the game.


She only played a short time…didn’t even have time to mess her hair

The ball never came her way, but that didn’t matter…we didn’t care.


Her team won the game!…and though it was sad to watch the other team lose

We were happy!

What a beautiful day!

Then we went home and watched the news….


A child wearing a home-made gas mask in Syria…

her father’s face so worn and drawn.

They were pulling bodies out of the rubble…

after 7 years their war goes on….


7 years of war…cities destroyed by hatred…fighting and bombs

children who may be lost forever from their dads, their homes, their moms….


And we thought how lucky it is for our granddaughter…

playing volleyball so innocent and free

while halfway across the world there are children not as fortunate as she.


Who are running for their lives…while around them building fall

Who I imagine would give anything…to be playing volleyball.


And we’ll be happy watching her next game…

happy to be there win or lose…

Forgetting for a moment the rest of the world…


until we go home and watch the news.

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When I gaze up towards the heavens…when I pay attention to the sky

I’m glad I’m not a meteorologist…and here’s the reason why:


On our walk this morning we were treated to this wonderful surprise

as the infant rays of the morning sun…created streaks across the sky…


There was the slightest arching in these streaks…and not to simplify

but dappled with a hint of color they looked like rainbows in the sky. 


And I thought what a beautiful sight for anyone up early 

and lucky enough to see…

but if I were a meteorologist…

I might view it differently.


For I would know this time of day is aptly called twilight

(when the dawn acquires the morning from ebbing of the night)


And I would know the way her light scatters…is the scientific reason why

even though the sun is still set…I can see her rays across the sky.


And I would know as I see these rays adding hints of color to a canvas painted blue

it is diffusion of the light that gives them their pinkish hue…


But…since I am not a meteorologist…

since I don’t have a meteorologist’s eye…

I am perfectly happy seeing morning rainbows 

stretching across the sky.



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Yesterday when the old man looked out his window pane 

he saw children playing in the rain


running through the puddles in the street 

with no umbrellas…in their bare feet


and he harkened back to a time with pride 

when he was a child playing outside


a time he wished he could repeat.  

when imagination inspired his feet.


when he played and climbed and recited rhymes…

back when he had the indulgence of time.


as more drops fell upon his window pane 

he wondered, when was the last time he played in the rain?


watching the children as they crissed and crossed 

he wondered…at what point was his innocence lost?


then his inner voice said, “It isn’t gone.  

it’s there in the rain…out on the lawn.”


so he left the safety of his window pane, 

took off his shoes…and ran out in the rain.


and barefoot out there in the pouring rain 

he was reunited once again


with an innocence…he thought was lost…

as on the lawn he crissed and crossed…


as he ran through the puddles out in the street 


with no umbrella…in his bare feet.

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He asked his young son what he does in the garden…

how can he play out there for hours…

His son smiled and said, “it’s simple, Dad. 

I have questions for the flowers.


“I ask them where their colors come from, 

sometimes I get down on my knees

and I whisper into their petals…

do you dream about the bees.”


“I ask them how they breathe, 

and if they ever have the chance

to laugh or play with one another…

and if they sing…or dance.”


“I ask them if they have a heart,

if they have a soul…a brain.

I ask them which one they like more

the sunshine or the rain.”


“I ask them how they know to bloom in Springtime

and I ask them where they go

where do they vacation 

in the Winter cold and snow?” 


“That’s why I spend so much time with them…

why I can play out there for hours…

because there always seem to be more questions

I want to ask the flowers.


“And do the flowers answer?” Dad asked

“Do they talk back to you?”

The little boy’s eyes widened…then he smiled…

“Oh Dad…of course they do.”


And many times after they talked that day

the little boy didn’t go to the garden alone….

He walked hand in hand with his father…


who had some questions of his own.

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