The Canopy

The Canopy September 10, 2023




I got to spend an afternoon, looking up from a lounge chair into a canopy of oak and pine trees. The wind, making it indistinguishable between the noise of the trees and the creek below. I fell asleep, folding the book I had across my chest closing my eyes just to rest them. An hour later I woke up, looking up into the canopy covering where I was. The last time I had done this was when I was a small child. A memory still accessible, somehow, stored somewhere, in my brain. I was a child, small child, and I was in a crib my mother and father put out under the same type of trees at our cabin. They were part of a small group of trees which held our treehouse. I remember looking up into the throat of those trees and it was the same image from two days ago.

There was a huge peace in that recent event. Laying on the lounge chair, no worries, no cares. Oh, don’t get me wrong, they existed, just not then, not at that moment. God, somehow, saw an idea I needed that nap. To call a time out in the life I was living and rest. Simply rest. It is a gift I was given. A gift I did not know how wonderful it was until I opened my eyes and saw the trees. They were under a partially cloudy sky with the sun being blocked every few moments by the fluff of the cloud and the movement of the trees. The temperature was noticeably different and responding to the movements of the two. It got cooler. In Arizona, when things get cooler before Halloween, it is a gift.


How something, which was never even remembered from the past and connected to this future, could see the orbit of things and the unseen hand of something constant, true, never faulting, always protective, and perfectly timed. It’s funny, I didn’t know I needed that afternoon, to do exactly what I was doing-nothing, and had I of been younger, I would have not realized its source or intent.

To let God love me. To let Him meet my needs, right where I was.


I don’t do that as a practice, letting God, or really anyone, meet my needs. I can do my own needs meetin’.

Until I can’t. Then what? What happens when I don’t let people help me is I rob them of goodness. If I am so standoffish and don’t let anyone love me, then I rob them of what God has gifted them to do.



Years ago, I would plow through life, taking hits and feeling the pain but still plowing. Now that I am older, I have learned I want people to experience what I have learned. Letting the God of the Universe, find me, find them, and love us both.

Right where we are. Maybe even under a canopy of Oaks and Pine trees.



About Mark Williams
Mark Williams spent the first twenty-one years of his career as a Special Agent for the Organized Crime Division of the State Attorney General’s Office. As part of his duties, he investigated organized crime, homicides, and fraud cases submitted by other agencies to that office. He has traveled across the United States as an instructor for law enforcement in various capacities. After he retired, he became a high school English teacher at an inner-city school in central Phoenix where he is the fourth generation in his family to live in the valley. Mark was married for almost thirty-eight years and is a retired widower. He has three children and ten grandchildren. You can read more about the author here.

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