Monday, December 30, 2013

Celebrations of Wonder 18

Winter Wonder - Land

I lived in South Florida for almost 28 years … and during that entire time I couldn’t help but think that it was a very weird place. Now don’t get me wrong … I didn’t miss the cold, snow, ice, slush, heavy coats, etc. etc. of northern winters … but at the same time it seemed totally unnatural to me to have summertime all year around. 


Having said that … every year as soon as the oppressive heat cycle ended … somewhere around October or November ... I was able to resume my daily ritual of getting up each morning and going out onto my patio to write, read, meditate, etc. 

One of the things I most enjoyed about living at one particular place in Ft. Lauderdale, was the variety of what I liked to call the “Usual Suspects” that made their home on the lake outside my window. 

Part of the usual crew were these strange little duck-type creatures called Coot … they were there all the time. Then there were the Seagulls who seemed to arrive sometime early in December and hang around until April or so (I guess they were the original Snow Birds, Ha-Ha!) 
The really curious thing about the Gulls was that they were never to be found during the daytime … then every day around 5 pm or so they would come back in droves … and I mean droves … hundreds and hundreds of them and for 15-20 minutes they would just fly around and around almost covering the sky … and then they would settle in for the “concert” of the evening … and melodious and harmonious, it wasn’t!! 

I actually had to learn to tune it out because when the windows were open all that cacophonous squawking actually got to be more than a bit annoying … 

By the next morning they would be gone again … only to return again at 5:00.
My son and I used to joke that they must go to work and come home at the end of the day … 

Anyway, I can remember one particular year there were several new additions … a group of 5 mallards … 2 males (the gorgeous ones) and 3 females … always together … And then there was the group of 5 pure Snow-White ducks. 

The curious thing about them was it always seemed like one minute they were there and the next minute they weren't. And what’s even more amazing is the on more than one occasion I might be praying or meditating and when I looked up there they were ... like some kind of sign from on high … 
One day I realized that I hadn’t seen the "White family" for a week or more … and Wondered why? Where did they go? Such are the mysteries of nature, I guess … 

I had been experiencing a rather intense emotional period … and was feeling “all shook up”… unsettled … uneasy … uncertain. And so on this one particular day, I had just finished my morning writing and was doing some reading and I looked up and there they were … the "White family" in all their splendor … 

They swam in front of my window heading west and then a few minutes later passed by again heading back east. By the time I got up to get a better look to see where they were going … they were gone … like “Now you see them … Now you don’t "

and a big smile broke out across my face … and a real sense of calm and reassurance came over me. I felt like I had received a sign telling me all was well … I could relax now and stop feeling afraid … everything was in it's Divine Right Order … 

But wait … there’s more … A short while later, two great blue heron flew right in front of my window … now that was a first … 
and if that wasn’t enough … I then saw something odd and colorful swimming under the surface of the water about 50 feet in front of my window … 
What creature could that possibly be? I had to put on my glasses and get up and move closer to the window and what I saw were three huge striped turtles clustered together moving thru the water … another first !!

So what do I conclude from all this?? There seem to be unlimited opportunities to Celebrate the Wonder of this magnificent universe ... and on that particular morning of that particular day, the things I saw and the things I felt had a most profound impact on me … 

and maybe the truth is that the signs are always there … if we are open and receptive … I certainly can’t say for sure … all I know was that for me … on that specific day … my heart opened … and my fears disappeared … 

and even if it were only for a few, brief moments … I had the experience of being part of some grand magical, mysterious, Wondrous Celebration of Nature … the Universe … and the Divine Spirit that connects us. 



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