Last week I sat in front of the laptop, glancing out a window to the side yard. Cloud-hooded day. Redbirds and finches overwhelmed the feeders, and a red-headed woodpecker pecked his way up the gray trunk of the bare maple.
The moment was fragile, small like the upstart of a redbud. I was stunned to stillness. All of it, part of a story, a map, a piece of the whole.
A few days later, three of us drove through the backwoods together to see what we could see. We came to a creek and stopped the car. A hint of paradise. We let the creek’s song mesmerize us.
Still too far away from it, we exited the vehicle to be closer to water, leaves, trees. We became watchers of wildness in the wooded area near a little church on the backroad.
Clearly, the water was rushing just as I had been rushing earlier that morning.
But then, everything inside me eased and came to a halt. Another fragile moment.
I gave up everything ticking and schedules. I certainly closed down my Martha part to explore my Mary part for a few minutes.
I allowed myself to step on brown leaves, look up at green boughs, listen to the creek music. We meandered and wandered a bit before rambling on down the dirt road.
Now as I try to retell this part of the story, it grows smaller and smaller. So fragile. The wonder I knew now seems to be missing.
How do I hold it and show you like a marbleized stone?
And yet, it remains in my head. It hasn’t ended for me, but I can’t seem to retell it adequately.
Let me encourage you to look for a sound of melting snow, a song falling out of a redbird’s mouth, the crack of a door. You get the idea.
It’s just for you from the Holy One.
Such things. They are like the laying on of hands, like beautiful art, like glimpses of God’s love.
It’s around all of us. It’s in the sky, the grass, the wind.
I wonder if I mostly don’t see it because it’s so familiar that I am blind to the trails, pine trees, burnt umber fields, redbirds, shrubs, dewdrops. Blind to the abundance.
The hardest part for me is believing it is there, on purpose, just for me to enjoy.
We left our valley that day to seek the fresh, the holy, the lovely. Perhaps unconsciously to awaken ourselves from our little sleep.
And yet, everything was here all the while, even the water flowing past, stretching its arms this way and that.
When looking and listening, I find God. I suspect you do, too.
Further, I am convinced the Father is tender and ready to comfort us.
I am convinced it is His handiwork that helps me stay centered and sure.
My best to you as you make your way in this busy world,
P.S. You may share my blog if you think it will benefit.
Sneed Creek off Culp Road, south of Calico Rock, Arkansas. Photo taken by Rebecca Bland, January 8, 2018.