This is my Father's world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker's praise.
This is my Father's world: He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

- Maltbie D. Babcock

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

This morning as I made my coffee, a bluejay appeared on my deck.  He perched atop a bird-feeder pole, feather coat plumped against the cold, and checked me out through the window.  Putting down my cup, I went to throw some peanuts onto the deck, noticing that it was wearing its first real snow-coat of the season.  Soon my feathered friend was joined by a raucous gang of his buddies -- along with one opportunistic red squirrel darting in and out to grab his share -- swooping in, each choosing the fattest nut he could find, and hurrying off to deposit it somewhere before coming back for more.  They reminded me for all the world of a bunch of trick-or-treating teenagers, overjoyed to have found one house on the block that still had candy left, and taking full advantage of the fact.

Behind them, the cherry tree surrendered its remaining leaves to the snow-coated pile gathering on the lawn. Farther back, the rusty leaves of the oak tree waved in the sunlight, proud to have hung on through the recent high winds and driving rain.  According to the calendar, there is still more than a month of autumn left, but we all know that it's really only autumn with a wink and air quotes. In reality, it's just an extra month tacked on to the beginning of winter, but with a slightly less depressing face.

As ever, sadness and loss surround us on all sides, but so does beauty and abundance.  We must find a way to see and embrace both.  Our outdoor environment becomes unfriendlier with the change in weather, but as we hunker down inside, we draw one another in closer for warmth.  There are changes to grieve and changes to celebrate.  And as a wise woman said, there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

I hear a bluejay calling: "Hey guys -- over here!"