Wednesday, January 9, 2013

FEATHERED FRIENDS

"In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy."
~William Blake

I gaze out the window at the scene unfolding before my eyes. Tiny birds flutter about, moving from tree to tree, then perching on our bird bath. Their holy communion tugs on my heartstrings. How happy and utterly content they appear. Chirping merrily amongst themselves, they move in a rhythm that takes my breath away.

I look around my living room. I can almost see the silence. A house that once rattled with noise is now quiet. The season of raising our voices in the midst of raising our children is behind us. Evidence of those days is tangible. Photos and keepsakes sprinkled here and there remind me. So does a young child's handprint pressed into a clay plate...and a patched window where a tennis ball landed in our kitchen unexpectedly. I love it all. Even the piece of board where a glass pane should be. They are memories I cling to, and they take me back in time to those precious, exhausting days. Of messy rooms. And bedtime stories. And the endless list of homework assignments posted on our refrigerator door.

As I focus my attention on the birds outside, I wonder if they are all part of a family. Or if their holy communion in my front yard is a mass of  feathered friends enjoying the early morning together.

Gardeners up the street with their power tools cut into my silence. Still, it's way too quiet in this empty house for me today. I usually cherish the peaceful hours when I am home alone. Not today. Even the loud, laborous hums pouring into my home can't distract me from the fact that this new season in life is quieter... slower... less demanding.

But my winged visitors outside my window bring me comfort. They reassure me I'm not alone. I still have purpose, passion for my work, and people I love. A husband I wouldn't trade for the world. And good friends I have plenty of time for. Time to meet for coffee, a lingering meal, or a stroll through the shops. Ample time for some old fashioned fellowship over the phone or a chance meeting in a parking lot (that happened this week, and what a gift it was).

Whatever season I am in, I want to savor the good stuff, and soar above that which can drag me down. I want to bathe in the blessings of loved ones, and refresh those around me. It may be quieter than I like, but those sweet birds encourage me.

My husband will be nestled in his favorite chair in no time, and we will break bread together. Face to face time with a good friend is on my calendar for this afternoon. Two of our adult children will flutter in and out of the house today. And I realize, this life is a blessed gift.

"When one door closes, another opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us."
~Alexander Graham Bell

"When you're really happy, the birds chirp and the sun shines even on cold dark winter nights ~ and flowers will bloom on a barren land."
~Terri Guillemets

"To get up each morning with the resolve to be happy...is to set our conditions to the events of each day. To do this is to condition circumstances instead of being conditioned by them."
~Ralph Waldo Trine

"I believe that life is given us so we may grow in love, and I believe that God is in me as the sun in the color and fragrance of a flower ~ the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence."
~Helen Keller

"Each day is a new beginning~
to care more about others,
to laugh more than we did,
to accomplish more than we thought we could,
and be more than we were before."
~Author Unknown

"This is the day the LORD has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it."
~Psalm 118:24

"Do not cling to the events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already ~ you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there."
~Isaiah 43:18-19

Copyright 2013 by Julie Cowell. All rights reserved.  

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