Early this morning, while my full household is still in a deep sleep, I tiptoe outside with my first big cup of perfect coffee and notice a million wonderful things.
Beach towels, socks, and tee shirts hang around the south lawn like gypsy caravan curtains. Wild birds chirp a lilting, effervescent soundtrack against the breeze combing through the oak trees. Romulus (our daddy llama) strolls through the shallow edge of the pond, splashing just a little. The sun begins to pour his molten blessings over the day, over every building, every tree, every fence post, every flower. Every thought and emotion.
The same light breeze that combed through the oak trees now ruffles my un-brushed hair and delivers a slender blue dragonfly to my shinbone. I secretly hope that the sugar and cream in my coffee will attract more visitors, like maybe the hummingbird from yesterday, so I sit very still for a long time.
The red wicker chair and footstool are for the moment the most comfortable seat in the world. The carrot ferns and potato plants are incredibly fluffy this morning. And behind me the squash vines have never been more lush. My gaze shifts forward, past the lower edge of my vegetable garden and toward the pond. The pond is so glassy and content looking this summer.
Suddenly but gently the thought occurs to me that without the recent years of drought I could not so fully appreciate the simple beauty of this overflowing pond. This small body of water would be common and unnoticeable to me instead of miraculous.
Then the thoughts follows that without so many violent winds in recent months I might be less compelled to sit still on a Sunday morning and enjoy the stillness and drink in all of this mild and otherwise common beauty.
And how can I ignore this next thought? That without the pain and echo of an empty nest, I might view two weeks of house guests as just extra work and thereby deny Handsome and myself the experience of so much wonderful pleasure and love.
My arms and legs are heating up now in the sun, and my coffee cup is nearly empty. Roosters are finally crowing on both sides of me… ours to the east and north and a neighbor’s to the west. A smaller dragonfly now hoovers near the yellow coreopsis at my elbow. It’s definitely time now to rouse my temporary family and get them ready for church.
But I feel like I have already had church here by myself.
What abundance do you have in your life at this moment that you are able to more fully appreciate because of a loss or a previous difficulty? How many prayers have been answered in ways that buoy your hope for more?