The heat index, they tell us, was 120 degrees in Creston (two counties due west) yesterday, and that kind of heat can make us all a little testy.
The mid-term elections are drawing nearer and that's always an excuse for political and personal hostility as the two parties vie for the numerical (and ideological) edge.
Friday, observed by many Christians as the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, also was the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima (and three days later, Nagasaki), events that ended the bloodshed of World War II --- but at the cost of a previously unimagined number of human lives.
Iowa sent the last of its 2,800 troops off yesterday for final training before deployment to Afghanistan --- the largest single deployment involving Iowans since World War II --- the latest in a series of wars that previous wars to end all wars have failed to end.
And so we pray for peace, perhaps in the hope that it will be somehow imposed from above, overlooking the possibility that it really doesn't work that way --- and that peace is darned hard work that like many other things behings at home.
Which brought to mind the prayer attributed to St. Francis --- YouTube version above based upon a musical setting performed by Filipino musician Ryan Cayabyab and friends.
One of the interesting things about this prayer is that it is not connected in any way other than perhaps spirit to our friend St. Francis. The prayer seems to be about 100 years old and may have become associated with Francis when someone composed or selected it to be printed on the back of a prayer card bearing his likeness.
But none of that diminishes the power of its petitions. What do you suppose would happen if in increasing and finally overwhelming numbers we all arose each morning, prayed it --- then did our best to live it?