On a whim…

Life without whimsy is not much of a life at all; without it, a walk in the dark is no laughing matter.


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One frigid night I encamped, with the Scouts, in some woods on the shore of a pond. They, with great care and fearing frostbite, pitched their tents and in rapid moves, entered their tents, shed their coats, and dove into their sleeping bags. I did not see them again until after sunrise. The short days and long nights of early January, combined with the cold, had leached them of their enthusiasm for adventure.

I, on the other hand, stretched my ground cloth on the snow to lay, unsheltered, in my bag. Winter cold left me unbothered by insects and brilliant stars pierced clear skies to keep company. The great bear, pointing to Polaris, revolved like a backward running hour hand marking the passing of time on the clock face of the night sky.

An interrupted sleep is not the same as poor sleep. I awakened, at intervals, and marked the new position of companions in the sky. Each waking led me to marvel at the orderly progression of earth’s rotation; It reassured me of a night’s unbroken peace.

To those woods I long to return. To again visit the great bear and his companions; To share with my youthful friends the dying embers of the supper fire; to hear the rustle of their efforts to seek refuge from the cold. And to hope that they too may come to marvel at the unfettered peace of a night spent in company with the stars.

Written by David Wilkerson

12 December 2022 at 3:41 pm

Posted in hope, metaphysics

Chores Not Done

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The air, thickened and over-warm, cautions against exertion. A brief and once beguiling call to fix up, repair, restore is but a whimper. In a sparse corner of my imagination I hear that whimper and recoil. It’s too damp and the soon-to-fall rain dissuades me from sawing wood or clearing debris. I retreat to the table where a seat awaits. The air inside, comparatively cooler, is seductive. I shall not work says my first yawn. Indeed not, says the second. I’m done, says my nodding head.

Written by David Wilkerson

18 September 2022 at 4:29 pm

Posted in humor, life, Who knows?

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Marking Time

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On the edge of autumn, shadows, long in tooth, take hostage our memories of days well past. Like those with aging minds, we too are captured by moments long gone. Our relentless march to the ticking of the clock is changed. Where we once moved forward we march in place; marking time to a familiar rhythm but to an altered scene.

We are made strangely existential, we would be horologists. But in this season our now has become “then”. Though we speak of spending time we discover, in this pause, that much of it has already been spent. Our minds once conjured a fantasy regarding time. We would measure it, we would divide it, we would conquer it to believe our end were only a distant future. But…

But now we learn: in this season of shortening days, our mortality is ever near. Now we hear: “Take no thought of the morrow, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Now we know: Our memories are not relics to lament but guideposts to reclaim what matters.

The future is no more known to us than to an infant. Unlike the infant whose memories are unformed, we are captured by the long shadows that surround us. We are visited by the past. Memories bear witness to loss and to hope. Love lost is at least a love once with us. Where there once was love there may yet be love again. This recollection must be shared; Doing so is an epiphany for many. Indeed, though captured by memories we are not condemned to isolation. We tell our story. preach the sermon of our lives, we sing the melody of our loves.

On the edge of autumn, shadows, long in tooth, take hostage our memories of days well past. In them, together, we find what we might otherwise miss in our rush toward an unknown and unknowable future.

Written by David Wilkerson

16 September 2022 at 9:46 am

Posted in evolution, metaphysics

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Death’s Anniversary

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Twenty years ago, and earlier this evening, Beth Batson Wilkerson departed from this life. That which remained was buried and that which persists has moved on. Even now we who remember wonder to where and to when did she go? In the geography of time and space there is no chart on which we can mark her destination but there are places in the heart where shadows tease us with what reason cannot deduce; A place where departed loved ones linger.

cemeteryI have not been idle these twenty years. Much has changed and, for now, much remains the same. I have a son, now. Like all of us he is curious about his origins and we often talk of how our family was shaped. Beth’s death and our grief is a prominent moment in that story as well as my present happiness. For years I struggled with how to speak of my two great loves: my wife and my late wife. My son seems to grasp this easily. He asks, “Would she like me?” To which I reply, “She would love you!” He states, “I wish she could be here but then we wouldn’t have Mom, would we?” I ponder this as he continues, “But maybe we could just be a bigger family than we are now.” I think, maybe that’s what heaven is, the biggest of all families.

Thus, life as we know it has gone on. I have discharged some responsibilities and, as I have just related, I have taken on new ones. I am not alone and that is how Beth wished it. I live, somehow, both in grief and in joy; Living a paradox founded on an irony.

It is a difficult for me today. I am compelled to accept these truths: I could not have been who I was without one and I would not be who I am without the other. My dreams are never the same and always the same. I can not have what I want and I want to keep what I have. It is as if life is conducted in the vestibule of a great house. All of the loves, the dramas, the moments of grief and ecstasy are lived out in discrete moments of “then” while I am sustained by a sense of waiting for “eventually”.

I imagine heaven as a state of being where our grammar is changed. Every “was” and all our “somedays” are transfigured into “now”. Past and present tense have no context and, deprived of time, they fade as all things mortal must. It is there that we, all of us, gather in the presence of the Almighty. We gather before One whose otherness renders us silent; Our once bountiful sense of time distilled into an everlasting “now”.
Those who have gone before us do not wait for us, we are they who wait restlessly for them. Our Lord said of himself that he is the Alpha and the Omega. In him, we find our First and Last, our Beginning and End.

Written by David Wilkerson

27 November 2013 at 11:54 pm

Making A Difference? I Hope So…

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I recently attended an Eagle Court of Honor where I, as Troop Chaplain, had the honor of leading the scouts in an opening and closing prayer. While there, I listened while many who earned their Eagle rank years ago spoke up.

One, Phillp Currier, remarked that the lesson he carried away from his scouting experience was this saying, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” I am impressed as I watch our young scouts demonstrate the kind of character that makes our country great. I saw it on Satruday as they turned out in the cold to raise funds and gather food for the Pelham Food Pantry. I watched them call out with pride and passion for other citizens of our town to step up.

Scouting is unique. As much as I enjoy sports I don’t see service as a defining attribute of character taught by sports. Of course, a scout can play sports. Consider Shane Victorino, an Eagle Scout, whose triple in the final game of the World Series put our Red Sox on the road to victory. He was also a star in Football, Soccer, Basketball, and Track. He admits that he never learned to surf, though. I bet his parents wore out more than a few sets of tires hauling him around to meetings. And, in case you are wondering, he wasn’t an only child nor was he an “easy child”. In his first 8 years he had over 30 stitches. He might have been, as some say, the kind of boy that “needs” scouting. I mention this because our boys learn about service to the degree that each adult who cares enough to make scouting happen demonstrates it.

On this Veterans Day, as we honor men and women in our Armed Services for their willingness to step up and go in harms way for our good, I want to take this moment (as a veteran) to thank these scouts for their willingness to serve. However, I especially want to say to each parent that YOUR willing sacrifice rendered through acts that encourage your scout and by doing your part including stepping up to be counted as someone willing to make a difference… to you I say thank you. Your willingness to serve causes me, as a veteran, to realize that my service and the service of other veterans, is not in vain.

Neither you nor I am paid, as this world measures payment, for the meetings, miles, and moments of rest that we give up to show these scouts that there is a better way, a right way to live. Undoubtably we often grow weary but we do not fade in our dedication to guiding these young people. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My ambition in life is, trough service to my maker and my community, to be proven Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and (above all) Reverent.

Written by David Wilkerson

11 November 2013 at 2:11 pm

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