Night was falling; the trees spoke to one another, their voices rising with each rustling leaf. The crickets tuned their wings and played their songs as a handful of crows flew noisily overhead, calling out the directions home, already late, and in a hurry. I laid down on the grass as God slowly covered the world with darkness. The frogs, living in secret places near the hedge, added their bass notes to the sounds of the night.
“You’re a composer,” I said to God. I closed my eyes and listened. I heard the beating of His heart, the breath escaping His lips, the sound of His love reverberating through all of creation.
“Thank you,” I said, and applauded the performance. The fog spilled over the hillside—cold and damp— and so I rose to go— but taking with me the knowledge that I am part of it all—my soul a chord in His great symphony.
The moon swung open the garden gate and came on in, taking a seat in the wicker chair. She sat there for hours while I slept—the mystery of the night unfolding around her. Just before dawn, she tapped at my window, inviting me to join her. I put on my robe and padded out to see what she wanted. There she was, in all her glory, singing to the flowers. They moved to the sound of her voice.
God reached out His hand to me, “May I have this dance?” He asked.
I giggled and took His hand. We twirled under the fading stars—a gentle breeze stirring around us. We danced our way into the new day, into the hopes and dreams nestled in my heart.
A sudden gust picked up the windchimes, crashing them into the fence. They clanged with such force that I startled. All-day the chimes rang, the wind forcing itself through the garden. It was the kind of wind that left me feeling uneasy, reminding me how chaotic life is at the moment.
A crow flew to the feeder, adjusting his wings to maintain balance as the wind blew him about. That’s what I need to do—make adjustments for these turbulent times.
“That’s right,” God said as another blast sent the trees waving about. “Set your sails to where you want to go. Let the chaos propel you to new opportunities.”
“I like that idea,” I replied. The crow turned and looked my way. “Thank you for the inspiration,” I shouted, even though I knew he couldn’t hear me over the roar of the wind. Later, after the storm had passed, I wrote down all the ways in which I can make changes to better navigate these rough times—I set my sails.
A crow landed in the top of a tall pine, startling a flock of sparrows. They took flight, a cloud of confetti moving across the blue sky. I watched them until they disappeared off towards the ocean. There are worlds of wonder taking place all around me, I thought to myself. I took a moment and observed the clouds—frothy white and whispy. The song of a finch invited my eyes to the feeder where she was perched, happily singing.
“Pay attention,” God said softly and released a butterfly from His hand. I watched her dance from flower to flower.
“I’ll keep my eyes open to the things that really matter,” I answered.
A ribbon of birds appeared just beyond the garden—the returning sparrows. They landed one by one in a tall pine across the street, settling back down into God’s loving hands, where we all dwell.
A lazy morning of toast and coffee—the whole day stretched out before me, unencumbered by anything that needed my attention. I watched the life in the garden wake up, greeting the new day. A mother bird fed her little one at the feeder, offering him sunflower seeds, his hungry mouth wide open. A baby bunny hopped through the fence slats and sniffed his way towards the new lettuce starts. His tall ears picked up my footsteps on the deck, and he bounded off in the direction from which he had come. Here, on the cusp of the approaching summer, new life was emerging. “It’s good to see the little ones that have come into the world,” I said to God. “It’s the beginning of their journey.”
My thoughts turned to my uncle, who is coming to the end of his life’s journey, the train bound for glory pulling into the station for him any day now. We are all just coming and going. What we choose to do with our time here is up to each of us, I thought. My uncle made good use of his time—a kind and loving man— goodness and mercy following him all the days of his life. “Welcome your good servant home, God,” I prayed. “He journeyed well.”
The baby bunny, still hungry, peeked through the fence. I called and waved to him. “Come on in; there’s plenty for everyone.” I walked inside so that he might feel safe enough to join the others in the garden— each on their journey— as we all are.
*In honor of my Uncle Charlie.