I am an impatient person who hates to be slowed down. Enter the pandemic. I can no longer be involved in my volunteer job, in outings with friends, in in-person church activities. Add to that the fact that I am not by nature very technologically adept. Zoom is a source of frustration for me.
My family, probably to keep us all sane, helped me to spend the end of November, December, and the first half of January at my son Mike’s home in Celebration, FL. I got to experience a Florida winter with its temperatures in the 40’s to mid 60’s so I spent much of my time outdoors. Suddenly I had time for long walks at an easy pace rather than my usual hurried workout on a treadmill before running off to whatever I had planned for that particular day.
What an eye opener that time was! I found my “special” place just 3 blocks from my son’s home and walked there nearly every day. At the very end of the street was a large pond surrounded by a walkway and sitting bench on one side and a long row of live oak trees hanging heavy with Spanish moss on the other side. Peaceful and beautiful! I sat on the bench and discovered white shore birds using their curved bills to locate tender tidbits. A black anhinga on a tree limb in the middle of the pond spread its wings to dry. If I watched carefully, I could spot just the nose of a gator lounging in the water. On one occasion I nearly stepped on a family of ducks tucked under a pondside tree. Suddenly I became aware of the wonders that were all around me. A pond, such a simple thing. Why had I never noticed before?
I spent much of my time also sitting on a swing on the front porch. The young couple next door has an adorable three-year-old called RJ. He has a favorite rubber dinosaur he loves to make roar and swish its long tail. RJ runs back and forth from one end of the porch to the other waving his rubber pet and roaring loudly. Suddenly I was fascinated with the wonder of a three-year-old at play. He was so completely absorbed, energy driven, and joyous in his pretend dinosaur world that I became absorbed in watching him, something I doubt I would have taken time for had I been able to shop, go out for dinner, or maybe enjoy the nearby Disney parks. Why had I never noticed the wonder of a three-year-old before?
This was the winter of acorns in Florida. One could not walk on the sidewalk without stepping on them, and with acorns one finds squirrels, lots of squirrels. There is a magnolia tree just off my son’s front porch, a perfect place for squirrels to play and to nibble on acorns. If I sat quietly a squirrel or two would frequently sit on one of the lower tree branches and chatter at me or I could watch two squirrels chasing each other from trunk to branches and from one tree to the next, squirrels at play. Suddenly I found myself laughing at their antics. Such fun! Why had I never noticed before? Why did it take a pandemic for me to notice a lovely pond, a precious child at play, an acorn-eating squirrel?
Favorite Bible verse: Romans 15:13
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
The people of Grace reflect on the Bight Spots for the 2021 Lenten Devotional. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily for a new reflection.