The pan simmers hot while I slice strips of ham into uniform squares and crack the eggs before whisking them into a glob of sunshine. I love the way the knife glides through the meat, like the blade of a skater, graceful across ice. Sizzling and popping sounds ignite my senses, signs of life, a new day is stirring in the early morning darkness.
I need this time, when moments drift slow, distinct, each one announcing the next as good, pure and refreshing in first light of day. These glimpses of life before the colliding of frenzied moments have become precious and vital.
I quietly slide open the windows, not wanting to wake anyone, breathe in the cool dewy air and feel it travel fast through my lungs and into all parts which need awakening. The burst hits my brain, and the moment is real and hard with the impact. It’s been one year since the phone rang, changing everything in that one moment of shock, stilling the breath and silencing my tomorrows.
Remembering pains. I wonder how time could have passed so quickly when my mind has held tightly to every memory. A life ended abruptly as the agony of living screamed loud. I miss him terribly, and there are days when the aching throbs heavy, sinking deep into marrow.
Thoughts are startled with the tea kettle whistling, and I quickly remove it from the burner to pour into the French press, stirring the brew to life. Dog feet tap dance around my legs, hopeful that what fills their nostrils will soon make its way to their bowls. The dachshund whines while the husky howls. Anticipation and begging mingle together into one sweet morning ritual. They know me too well, and they sit frozen (tails wagging in rhythm) ready to catch the tiny ham cubes tossed. A small gift of the moment is all they know and wait for.
I think about how each day I have showed up, groggy and often in slow motion, anticipating and begging for just one such moment which would captivate and stir my soul’s well back to living. My journal has been steady to fill, seeking, perched and open for the tiny crumbs needed just to sustain a grieving heart in search of a new awakening.
Today I need this. Tidbits, never failing to be discovered, presented with beauty from the hand of a Creator none can comprehend. Today, even when remembering, I need this to smile.
The dogs are sitting at the door. They are anxious to feel the morning dew soak paws and smell newness in the air also. Newness is really what I have been seeking throughout this year. A new perspective…a new journey….a reminder my heart has craved every day for a year, that life is still good, still filled with hope and still worth celebrating.
Dawn peeks through clouds, and I spot movement near the lake. Tiny, rapid movement is approaching, and I don’t want the dogs to scare whatever it is away. Spring is bursting every morning with new bird life near the water, and I chastise myself for once again forgetting to grab my camera. I really need to hang it on the door knob.
Feet slow, and over the bank they come into view, mama duck and her newborns, all ten of them. Sensing our presence, she waddles up front, summoning her twittering babes into perfect line formation. They pitter-patter in silence and bob right and left, only aware of this moment of following.
I’ve been more aware of following this year more than all my years combined. Following when there are no answers, no more hellos and no more goodbyes. Following a God, who is still good and still has grace filled moments just for me, to make me smile again.
Mama doesn’t even look back. She trusts her ducklings all know what to do. They can’t be more than a few weeks old, and they never take their eyes off of her as if she will simply disappear in a nod or a blink. I am mesmerized by the beauty of this moment, the new life trodding forward and crossing over into my life. There we stand, three, stilled and peaceful as we observe a moment no one else has seen in this first morning light.
It’s a moment reserved just for me, a smiling moment. I smile because I know he would have smiled too.
I smile through tears…..because I know he would have had his camera.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17