Finding Stillness

Winter is ebbing and giving in to an early spring.  I can finally sit under my tree and breathe in cool, but not cold, morning air.  I seek pre-dawn stillness. The sun is peeking over the horizon flashing through spaces between distant houses, occasionally spotlighting my front yard. It outlines my maple tree, now dotted with thousands of buds, some of which have erupted into tiny green shoots. They blot and divide the heavens into two different skyscrapers. To the right, the sky is a robin-egg blue. Encroaching on the left are grayish clouds on the move.


I wonder which side will prevail.

But an early morning hummingbird comes into view diverting my attention. I have seen him before, or maybe it was a cousin. Unlike me, he is not easily distracted. He knows his mission and flies directly to the purple and pink hyacinths. Then disappears. That fast.

With his swift exit, I return to my split-screen sky and see a ceiling of gray on both sides of the tree. Is morning stillness an illusion? I wonder about that but not for long. A striped ground squirrel scampers into view. He stops, jerks his head in several directions, then continues, against a chorus of nearby awakening birds, chirping about the day’s business.

I too, have the day’s business to contend with, but for now, I wonder about the stillness I originally sought. My revelation is that I came here to be still, not to find stillness, for what I observed quiets my mind. I find restoration in merely being, in breathing in nature’s activities, even for a short while. And upon my departure from my morning nook, I will take it all with me:

the focus of hummingbird . . . .

the caution of the ground squirrel . . . .

the momentum of fast moving clouds . . . .
and the promises held in the blue sky, seen and unseen.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Psalm 139:14 NIV​


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