I did not expect the birds to delight me so. That first morning during my quiet time I am visited by a Nuthatch that I have never seen in my feeder and he is so cute with his showy white breast and fan tail. His quick movements lift my spirit and I find I am watching him instead of contemplating scripture.
Later, after breakfast, in morning worship, Jeffrey talks about letting God speak into us through nature—through the crouching redness of the sky slowly unfolding, the way light is a second skin on water…through a tiny Nuthatch visitation and the beauty in our winged creatures? All weekend long I can’t take my eyes off of them. I take small crumbs of bread and bits of dehydrated fruit back to my room to leave for these feathered angels. I see my friend the Black-capped Chickadee, a sweet-faced Titmouse, the familiar vibrant red of the Cardinal and a strange dusty blue bird I’ve never seen before. The one morning I run, a flock surges through the quiet overhead and I am amazed at the sound the wind makes under wing.
“It feels different this year,” I tell Cheryl, when she asks. “Good, but different.”
The landscape speaks to me and I feel my smallness. We are kayaking—or rather he is. I’m just along for the ride–when I ask David, “Can you get closer to the canyon wall?” He steers me over to that stony skin and I run my hand along its glistening surface, let water droplets moisten my fingers.
“I feel like those shrubs growing out of the stone,” I tell him. “It’s like: what are you doing here? You’re not supposed to be here.”
He laughs and says sometimes he feels the same. But when I touch her, she touches me back and the canyon whispers all the prayers that have been said within her embrace—she whispers them back into my heart.
I’m walking with Megan amidst a butterfly migration and we stop in the middle of the road.
“Look at the sky,” she says.
And the way the blue falls over the trees is a song that is singing something new into me. Psalm 3:3 tells me that He is the Lifter of my Head and I find that it’s true: everywhere I go I’m looking up. Except when I’m looking down into beauty from Circle Bluff.
“It’s been about the people this time,” I tell Cheryl. And I think about my friend from high school who picked me up at the airport—drove two long hours under threatening sky so we could be together. And then home again. I think of the prayer she and Jennifer and I shared along the way and the hug we shared when she left. I think of the friends I’ve known through words and how sweet it is to squeeze a hand, look into eyes. The way we laughed (“You are more joyful than you seem online,” one sweet friend told me.) and the ways we prayed. Oh, just to be together and take up space side by side.
I’m a morning person and happiest in a place with no walls. Give me a bed of grass and a blanket-sky and I will dream deep in wonder. But a good story takes me to this place too. And a poem? Even better. You can always find me here. Or connect with me on on facebook, twitter, or pinterest.