Nightswimming is one of the handfuls of songs that can bring me to my knees no matter when I hear it.   Its melody is pure and piercing.  Grounding with conviction even.  Upon first chord played, I am transfixed into a world that is safe and yet forgotten. Sad and yet healed. To me, it's a song about salvation.  Listen and see what you think.  

  I grew up with in a house filled with music.  We had no cable TV.  In fact, my first viewing of MTV was in college.  We lived on records.  Big and black and shiny with grooves and cool paper donut-like sleeves. I loved that a record's paper was thin and crisp. I can remember the preciseness in sound as it was removed for playing.  The player was always right beside the couch and across from Mom's chair. Tom T. Hall, Gordon Lightfoot, Emmy Lou Harris and Jim Croce were a few favorites.  My brother and I would go all superhype when Christmas rolled around too.  Burle Ives and The Chipmunks Christmas records were front and center.  Sundays were sheet washing days and, most often, you could find bluegrass or gospel on the spinner.  Dad usually made breakfast big that day.  Tiny sausages were a favorite.  I can remember the way Mom's body moved as she popped the clean sheets into the air as they wafted down for a clean bed assembly.  Spring and Fall were best because you can bet the windows were up with a breeze dancing through.  

And, that's just it.  Music brings us all a memory.  Lyrics serve a purpose of connection, recollection and resolve.  In what was, what could have been and what is.  The art of song finds a way of sealing our hearts with the now of yesterday so to speak.

My family wasn't a church family.  I always wished we were.  I don't know if it was my obsession with "what others did" or with "I wanna dress up in cute clothes", but either way my motive for the why of church was not what anyone would call appropriate.  My Mom and Dad were private about God.  It wasn't like I didn't see God in them with my little girl eyes.  Looking back, Mom and Dad were the book of James.  Their hands were always helping those in need.  Countless memories come to mind of groceries and clothes my Mom bought for those less fortunate in her classroom.  She would visit them too.  My Dad was always and still is ready to lend a hand for improvement's sake.  Our little community is still graced with the work of his hands all for the evidence of God's goodness and grace.

Yes, I guess it's best my church was left to the black and shiny of Jim Croce, sheet popping and tiny Sunday sausages.  For His plan of conviction was timed and perfect for me.  I wrote about it here.  His plans always are: timed & perfect.  That's so hard for us flawed humans to remember.  

And, my two?  Well, up in that photograph you see, they're night swimming.  On this particular summer night, I watched them.  I sat in a chair just a few feet away, and cast my eyes on two of God's children.  And, just as if that first chord was played, my own night swimming brought me to my knees.  Their plan is written.  It's not in the dress up fancy clothes they wear on Sunday mornings.  And, it won't be in the "what other people do".  It is in His timing.  

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.

The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago,

Turned around backwards so the windshield shows.

Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse.

Still, it's so much clearer.

I forgot my shirt at the water's edge.

The moon is low tonight.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.

I'm not sure all these people understand.

It's not like years ago,

The fear of getting caught,

Of recklessness and water.

They cannot see me naked.

These things, they go away,

Replaced by everyday.

Nightswimming, remembering that night.

September's coming soon.

I'm pining for the moon.

And what if there were two

Side by side in orbit

Around the fairest sun?

That bright, tight forever drum

Could not describe nightswimming.

You, I thought I knew you.

You I cannot judge.

You, I thought you knew me,

This one laughing quietly underneath my breath.


The photograph reflects,

Every streetlight a reminder.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night.

So, in my own way, I will play them records.  Kenny and I will fill their souls with music. We will hold hands and pray around the table and before bed.  We will speak of God's goodness and His hope for our lives. Sunday tiny sausages will come before church. We will press upon their hearts the book of James too. The crisp sounds of paper record sleeves will be the mistakes and the memories good we give them.  God's presence and timing will orchestrate their salvation.  It always does.  As there comes a time, when we all come to that point "when the fear of getting caught of recklessness and water"ends. And, a quiet night is deserved.  

The photograph reflects,

Every streetlight a reminder.


{week 25: my 2 in 52}