Every ending has a new beginning: redefining my circles.
My new beginning started with a question: What shall I place in my small but expandable circle? Before long I had new items.
Cool water to splash on my face each morning.
My morning coffee, rich, dark and bold.
Egrets and herons.
And this: Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 16:6)
My pre-dawn walks, now one hour long, replaces my time on the treadmill and the lap pool. The first few blocks are familiar to me and I see other walkers with the same idea. We offer a nod and a cheery hello.
Soon I am in an unfamiliar area. I am supported by a chorus of songbirds encouraging me onward. They welcome me with a multitude of diverse, yet happy voices. Some are cooing, some tweet or whistle, and others are warbling and chirruping. A light misty halo rises from the surface of the pond where colonies of egrets and their heron cousins stand at the water’s edge quietly and patiently stand at attention, waiting for breakfast to swim by. Nature imprints on God’s canvas.
A strong breeze tosses my hair around and parts it in random places and I change directions. Being a creature of habit, I typically take the same walks. But this morning, I am more focused on discovery. I didn’t have to wait very long. Showing little signs of fear, these two long-beaked birds crossed the street exactly in my path. Apparently, they did not hear about the 6 feet rule. (Or is it 10 now?)
Then I see waiting for them on the other side of the street. I am the intruder so they need to regroup and flee together. Soon they were off and I was sorry to see them go. I turn to the east and face an orangey fireball pushing its way above the horizon. I am temporarily blinded by its intensity and cannot see the way forward. I am reminded that I may not see the way forward as clearly as I would like, but like my long-beaks friends, I do not walk alone.
A faint faraway rumbling train tells me that even at this hour, not all is still. There is a big world out there beyond my circle. Some of it is scary. The train adds a haunting shadow to my morning canvas, but it will not enter my circle. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid soothes like the cooing of a dove, over and over in my heart. It becomes the soundtrack to this day.