For years, I have made it a habit to rise early and spend a few minutes in my backyard patio. It’s a time I treasure, for it is quiet. No hustle and bustle. Just God and me. But this morning I had to force myself to trudge down the stairs and make a pot of coffee. I stood, waiting impatiently, while it slowly dripped into the pot. I unlocked the patio door, stumbled outside, and made my way to an old wooden bench under the trees. The air was fresh after recent rains. I took a deep breath and looked around. I kept thinking how nice my warm bed had felt.
As I sipped my coffee, I looked up and saw that the evergreen pear tree had burst into bloom. The blossoms were as white as the snow on the hills behind my home. Thanks, God, I whispered, and I settled back to enjoy the peace and quiet. But God wasn’t finished.. The leaves of the tree began to rustle, and two tiny birds emerged, their wings humming. They darted toward me and hovered, a few inches from my face. For a second, we stared at each other, then they were gone, swallowed up by the white blossoms.
I thought of the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. And I said aloud, “Thank you, Father, for small gifts, for moments of insight, for simple joys.”
And I went into the house and began to write.
-Marilyn Cram Donahue