Thursday, August 4, 2011

Moments of Grace

5 am this morning and I feel the nudge of a cold, moist nose prodding against my hand which is dangling weightlessly off of the bed.  I am in a deep sleep but I feel myself slowly rising up from underneath my dreams as if soaring towards the surface of some deep body of water.  I open my eyes to see the face of my twelve and a half year old dog, Becca, grey around her chocolate brown eyes, constant companion, strictest confidant.  This is one of the very few faces in the world that can get me to do just about anything regardless of how deeply I am sleeping or how intensely sore my body aches.  Very barely clothed, I follow Becca to the sliding glass door in our bedroom and pull it open.  I look out on the enormous body of water which covers the horizon before me.  I scootch down onto my heels just in case there is the chance of a low-flying helicopter catching sight of me at this barely lit breaking of dawn.(as if there is any possibility of that)  Becca searches for the perfect spot as I try to bring my weary eyes into focus.  I remind myself as to how incredibly lucky I am to live here, on the Pacific ocean, and in my mind I send out several prayers of profound gratitude.  The first one naturally goes to God.  How solacing it is to believe, with all of my being, that Adonai is always close, in all of the details, in me.  The second prayer goes out for my husband.  Keep him safe in all of his travels throughout the day.  Keep him safe, dear God.  Keep him safe.  The third, to my four daughters.  Thank you for choosing me to be your mother.  I am here, I am here, I am forever here...  I look up into the sky.  In my line of vision, there is the Century Agave plant that I first wrote about back in April.  Bright yellow flowers bursting against the early breaking dawn.
And busily buzzing around those blossoms is a tiny wisp of a bird, a Hummingbird who has made this possibly one hundred year old plant, its home.  Her color almost equal to that of the flowers, I know this must be a female as male Hummingbirds have ruby-red throats and pointed tail feathers.  Females have a more rounded shape to their tail feathers.  She zips along from flower to flower, sipping the sweet nectar.  At first, I watch in complete amazement.  I have seen countless numbers of Hummingbirds throughout my lifetime, but my fascination with them never dulls.
I think to myself that I wish I had my camera and then I remember that it is sitting right next to my bed.(It is usually only an arms length away)  I scurry over to pick it up hoping that the Hummingbird will still be there when I return.
And she is.  Like an angel bird foreshadowing the harbinger of a beautiful day to come, she flits from flower to flower making me almost happy to be awake at 5 am in the morning.  I put down my camera and watch her for several minutes longer.  I want to dream about Hummingbirds when I crawl back under the covers again.

Becca trots back over to me and I kneel down to scratch behind her ears and kiss her stinky head.  To me, she is so beautiful.  I give her a "cookie" which she takes back to her bed to eat.  I settle back into the warmth and security of my bed.  When I look down at her again, she is contently snuggled back into her bed, breathing deeply, almost softly snoring already.  I sink slowly back down in to the realm of dreams, my breathing in perfect sync with the rhythm of this morning.
When I rise up again many hours later, the sky is cerulean blue and the flowers on the Agave plant are now a bright Crayola yellow.  Becca dances in front of me to let me know that it is time to get out of bed for the day!  I reach down to scratch her on the head, but she inches away from me coaxing me out of my bed.  I laugh as I follow her to the back door.  We walk out the the edge of the bluff but instead of looking down to the water, I immediately am drawn upwards.  To the top of the Century Agave plant, to the buzzing of a Hummingbird's wings, to the sky, to the sun, to God.

May you take notice of enough details in your day to remind you that there is always a reason to say thank you. Sometimes, you might have to search for it a little harder than other times, but it is there.  It is always there...

12 comments:

Blue said...

I was unexpectedly smothered by the heavy blanket of darkness a couple months back, and have been struggling to escape it ever since after really shutting down. Well, that's probably not exactly accurate. I haven't actually been trying to escape much of the time...but I finally sought some help and hope to emerge again and start to feel less numb. One of the worst things about depression is the disconnect I feel from God. It's hard to sense His nearness, hard to feel His care. Hard to notice His myriad blessings all around. I am grateful for those who point it out, as you have so beautifully in this post. Thanks for taking the time to write it...helped me feel something. And I love hummingbirds, too. :-)

RottenMom said...

This is just so amazingly, hauntingly, beautiful. I am so grateful to have found you, I always leave here inspired to be a better person. Stunning photos, humming birds are my favorite. XO

Renee said...

Seeing the pictures of your agave plant and it's flowers that patiently wait so long to come forth...reminds me of God's timing in all things. Loved seeing the hummingbird, and loved reading your post today. Your descriptive writing always soothes my soul.. In finding things to be thankful for today, your place of grace is one!

Miss A said...

I love what rottenmom says. You also inspire me, not only to be a better person, but mostly, to expect better out of life.
I was in bed this morning, drifting in and out of sleep and I clicked on your blog. And your moment of grace became mine and soothed me back to a good sleep.
Thank you!

Kathleen Botsford said...

Beautiful!
xoxo

Bonnie said...

These pictures are gorgeous!!!! This is really good photography. :)

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

About Last Weekend said...

Hi there, thanks for stopping by. What wonderful pics of the humming bird...

Ness said...

Love the pics. Have never seen a hummingbird up that close. Your Becca is my Colin...we get up at 5:45 every morning for his call to Nature and I stand there, looking at the sky and remarking how lucky I am to be able to see, feel and smell my outdoor surroundings. I'm still coming to your ocean some day. Hugs to Becca. What would we do without our furkids? Love you sister-friend.

Mark said...

I'm late but I'm so glad that I got to read this acknowledgement of your blessed life. Please try to remember that during hard times, that there are also moments like this.
Your Friend, m.

Sabi Sunshine said...

Hello Deb,

How you doing? Sorry been lately so busy with my exams and relatioship...Sometime it gets really hard to manage everything... I appologize for that.
How are you doing with your health? How's everything with your Four Angels?

I did send you bday email i am not sure if you have received it.

Love
Sabi Sunshine

Angella Lister said...

This is a prayer and a song and a meditation. what a transcendentant morning, and you were fully present for it, of course you were, and then you gave us the gift of it, in all its spontaneous glory. thank you. i am humbled and awed by you, by this gift. this is why the agave plant bloomed for you. you are the one in a hundred years who would not only grasp the miracle, but know how to share it, too.

And did you know that to see a hummingbird is a blessing? My friend who writes the blog Follow Your Bliss shared this earlier this year:

Hummingbirds are "considered to be symbols of peace, love and happiness. They teach about self-discovery and healing. Hummingbirds also serve as a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible and will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances."

Love to you, dear Deb. Always.

Sharon said...

I wondered what the flowers looked like, so I am glad you posted these photos. Amazing ~

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