Photo by Jenny Wuokko @jmwuokko
It is day three of my 6:00 am walks around the lake. Spring and summer clothes pulled out of storage from a long winter were too small. Too tight. They must have shrunk, I tell myself. Then quickly decide that they really hadn’t. It is me that grew bigger. Rounder. Fatter. Darn that Michigan winter, Starburst candy, and ugly cancer killing a friend. It is cold. I think 37 degrees is what the truck thermometer read. That number could be wrong, but it feels like it is cold and so gloves and coat get put on. My feet meet pavement, movement, and rhythm. Body protests with such an early start, but my mind tells it to shut up and keep going.
Thoughts begin to wander as they always do with never ending to-do lists, prayers for patience, and prayers for people. Eventually, though, thoughts begin to settle, prayers find the Receiver, and clarity emerges from the once tangled mess of me and mind. It is then, in those moments that follow, that I take in all that is made around me. Senses take in the wonder of fresh, clean life-giving air. I take in a really deep breath just because I can. Creatures around me begin to wake up as dawn’s earliest light begins to emerge. It is hard to know who first greets the day. Is it the birds or the frogs? All are noisy, cheerful, alert, and unique in their hellos to each other and the world around them. Some seem to complain, or so I imagine with the tone of their speak. Geese especially, with their loud honks of “leave me alone”, echo off of the safety of water. I’m annoyed by their squawking and tell them to “hush”. In my head, of course. Some things are best left unsaid. Different birds are fighting already as one bird chases another bird through the air. Both birds almost crashing into the ground and I find myself telling them to be nice. Not out-loud, of course, but again in my head. Other fowl slip quietly in the water without so much as a peep and I only notice their movement. Frogs, too, hop not so quietly in the water. A sudden plop and then only ripples of water giving away their escape route.
Morning light keeps working it’s way in to the day and I see bats quickly scurry and flutter out of the night sky. I give them a silent good riddance. The moon still hangs, though, a crescent shaped icon in the fading night sky. People begin to emerge into the brand new day. Car lights shine on my path and lamp-lit windows begin to shine their own lights into the fading darkness. Drudgery has turned to joy and anxiety ellipses to peace. All seems well in the world, at least for now. I let myself stay there. In those moments where He has once again provided peace that passes all understanding. I take in another deep breath and let it out slowly. I look up to see the east sky full of pinks, purples, roses, peaches, and oranges all swirled together into a breath-stealing Created Masterpiece. I am then, once again, reminded of all that is here. In these many moments. In our nows and not our laters. Stunning creation created by a loving Creator. Beautiful, amazing, breath-taking, you and I, sky and water, fowls and frogs, sun and moon, plants and trees. Blessed indeed.