Do we get days like this in Heaven?
In 2016, I attended Focus Louisville, a program to educate emerging city leaders about the challenges, wonders and priorities in the area. A colleague suggested I check out Riverside. Fast forward 7-plus years and I did.
Near the parking lot, there is an expanse of privately-maintained gardens. A few people tended their plots, the sweet smell of newly-cut grass making for a fine stroll.
Strange. I didn’t expect that smell. Three days before my walk, Monday the 17th, a fire burned the pavilion at Riverside. Driving in, I anticipated a smoky smell would pervade the area. It didn’t; only a tightly-packed area around the pavilion smelled of fire and burnt wood as I walked by.
I walked past the visitor center, to the edge of the bluff overlooking the Ohio River and on the other side, Posey Township, Indiana. Again the sun had not yet burned off the dew and my shoes became damp then wet. The sun shone gloriously and I enjoyed the slow walk.I came to a large tree – again, name unknown – set back from the bluff. A small bench sat facing the river, slightly offset from the tree by perhaps four feet. Sitting down on the bench allowed for a lovely scene – I could focus on the tree or the gray, green-shimmering river as I saw fit. I appreciated the care and thoughtfulness of whoever decided to place the bench in that precise place.
I sat for quite a while. I heard birds and insects all around. Strange again – this was undoubtedly more remote than Central Park, yet it felt louder. The sounds of Nature, it seemed, had more permission to rouse themselves in fuller power here. It didn’t feel like Louisville. It felt like no town. I’d seen perhaps 10 people since arriving, most working on their gardens. Only one person crossed my path during my time walking and sitting near the river.
A barge trekked upriver. It seemed to take half an hour to disappear from view.
As below, so above? Are heaven’s fields full of green grass, newly-cut and sweet-smelling? Does a river flow slowly under the blue skies of heaven? Do wafty clouds form?
Do we get days like this in heaven? Days that are even better than the usual ones.