This morning I wandered down to the water's edge all by myself before everyone woke up. It was about 5:30 am and it was so quiet, I could hear the whir of the hummingbird's wings as she came to drink from her favorite red flowers. I brought a blanket with me and I snuggled into the bench, watching the mist curl over the water in tiny tornadoes, swirling and dipping, dancing with the sun as she rose up over the trees with a cheerful wave. Another beautiful Saturday morning... in a long stretch of them. Mother Nature sure seems to be asking forgiveness for her winter tantrums.:) I am happy to grant it.
How do I begin to express gratitude for this place? To live my life in a way that says thank you thoroughly enough? Are these images doing that feeling justice? Do my words? All things I ponder in these early hours of the morning. I have come to treasure this time for so many reasons. When people are still sleeping, animals come out of hiding, they run and sing freely with abandon and they act in ways that are so much more natural than I see when they are motivated by getting out of our way. I can hear God's voice and I can hear my own. And occasionally, something truly magical happens.
Way off in the distance I saw something making its way across the river from bank to bank, hidden in the mist. It was far enough away that I couldn't make out what it was, but it was moving faster than any species of duck I usually see crossing the water there so I lifted the binoculars to my eyes, mildly curious. I nearly squealed when I saw that it was a doe, silently gliding through the water, legs pumping like one of Santa's reindeer, swimming through the mist effortlessly as if she did this every day. I held my breath until she made it to the other side, astonished at her bravery.
Amelia Earhart once said,
“Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace,
The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things;
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear the sound of wings.”
Sometimes peace is found in the most unlikely of places too.