Longing for a time when children could play outside and ride bikes till sundown. It was seeing the fireflies sparkling that signaled us. As if it was natures way of summoning us to go home, dinner would be waiting and blessing to follow. Dusk to dawn there was a lulled stillness, and if a gentle breeze was near the front porch, the screen door stayed open. Locked doors were never necessary as the neighborhood knew all who lived there and the boundaries were clear, respect was given and no one lived in fear.

If there were any discrepancies, the rule book was less faded on how to handle such matters. It was not up for discussion, right was right and wrong was wrong, if an ill occurred it was not declared a medical condition. The lost and missing children was a scarce broadcast in years back, now it is a daily news bulletin of countless. Where did we go from playing in the streets and swimming in the creeks, to babies on milk cartons and mamas weeping endlessly, with tear stained cheeks?

We have lost our moral compass and it is if we are lost at sea, no anchor to hold us from the colossal cascade of waves that have overtaken us. Deep underneath we might find the buried remnants that are the artifacts of the remains that shed a glimmer of truth. If we are to ever have streets that can be walked in peace, and trust our children can come home at night as they left....we must begin to pave them with bricks of integrity or we will never a have a moments peace. Let us leave the porch lights on...never giving up hope and forever may the quest be to find them.

May we never stop looking for those lost innocent lambs. Our hearts should never become so hardened we are not saddened for those who wait for just a glimmer of light. Their precious child is lost, the pain they feel is as if it will always last. The Lord loves them and the good book says" suffer not the little children".... Let us all remember this truth and never stop relentlessly protecting them from the wolves who are at bay. May we do all that we can to help them find their way safely home, all safe and sound tucked nicely nestled in their bed.

Thoughts from the Countryside bench