A Friday evening to relax and take time with God; it's a quiet night in the city. Sister and I sat in the living room to visit after Vespers. The weather was cool and lovely so we left the door to the porch open for fresh air.
Soon I realized that we really weren't alone. Watching the folk come and go from their homes, walking their dogs, and bringing the children in from play, I listened to the first choir came from the birds in the trees nearby as Sister shared about her day. The cheerful praise of the birds bounced between the trees of the park of apartment complex. They sang through the sunset and then slowly quieted down.
The second choir came in with a slow hum from the now empty park. The moon rose and the crickets and cicadas filled the air outside the balcony. The rhythmic rise and fall of their wings was the perfect accompaniment for our time together this evening. As we started to tell stories of how we came to community and talk of sisters who helped us along the way, the moon was beginning to rise.
This Compline with Community was a very wonderful to wrap up the week. The chiming of the crickets continued after Sister said good night and I turned to compline in our prayer book. I finished this evening of prayer with the Canticle of Simeon. The refrain which introduces the canticle "Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep rest in his peace" brings a relief from the day and a trust that God will keep me and all those I love close to his heart.