In the quiet dark of night I opened my eyes. Moonlight lent soft glowing patterns on the bed from the window frames. It was cold, my man already gone, slipping away in the darkness with a brush of a kiss on my forehead.
Cold, brisk air filled the room from the open window just inches from my head. These are the mornings when the pull to be outside overwhelms the comfort of my warm nest. For we have a hot tub perched upon the bluff and like an eagle watching from the treetops, I can sit in steamy silence and watch for the dawn.
Tip toeing downstairs, I made a perfect cup of coffee, tucked the dog in on the couch, and gathered a towel around me. Tip toeing across the grass and shivering, I removed the cover and dropped my towel to face the cold air. Slipping into the warm, steamy tub I breathed a deep contented sigh. For a moment, I simply closed my eyes and took in the full sensory feast: cold fresh air, warm water covering me like a blanket.
I opened my eyes, reaching for my cup when, “OH!” ! There upon the bird feeder not 10 feet away I saw the dark form of a small bird resting quietly on top of my suet feeder. It was huddled in perfect stillness watching me. Perhaps it thinks I cannot see it, I thought, for I could not imagine such boldness by a wild bird.
For years I have fed the birds that come in many varieties to our front yard. It is situated upon a bluff above a wild brushy bank, surrounded by gardens on all sides. But this I had never seen, a bird seemingly sleeping, roosting on the wire cage of my feeder like I would imagine they must bed down in hidden places among the trees. I watched in wonder, captivated by the simple miracle that this bird should feel safe enough to hold its ground as I soaked nearby. At first, I dared not move but studied it, watching small turns of its head.
Suddenly the quiet of the predawn world came to a halt as the hot tub’s jets switched on. I jumped! Still the young bird held fast. Like a deer in headlights I thought, paralyzed in hopes to not be noticed.
Finally I had to move on with my day. What a morning! ! A few hours later I told the story to my daughter, she followed my gaze as I pointed out the window to the feeder. It was then that I noticed the leaf on top of the suet feeder.
“That’s funny,” I said quietly to myself, “Right in the same spot.” What a coincidence. Or…You don’t think? ! I slipped on my shoes and headed out into the yard now brilliant with sun-light. Again I crossed the lawn, keeping my eye on the curious yellow leaf. Same spot, but it looked nothing like my bird, until I came around its other side and stood at the corner of the hot tub. That leaf took on the perfect outline of a small bird, my bird. Beak, wing-tip and tail, hunched in a cold resting position. I had spent my morning breathlessly watching a leaf.
- I laughed out loud!
I was tempted to chide myself for old eyes and a daft imagination but a voice within stopped me.
Delight is delight. Living with expectancy and wonder, watching for small miracles is where I want to live, who I want to be. Walking a path alert for the extra ordinary is much like walking a life of faith. For faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1)
I am sure My Creator smiled as He watched me breathless with wonder, trembling with gratitude as I spied the silhouette of a simple leaf! I hope your imagination is alive to the possibilities of small miracles because this is living a life of faith where God speaks.
Cindy Peterson is a native of the Pacific Northwest. Mother of four, Grandmother, wife and lover of God. Captivated by the redemptive work of God through story in the small group setting. Outdoors woman, athlete, gardener, photographer. She loves to run in the woods with her dogs. She writes here.n