Mourning Doves in the rain. They are a humble bunch of birds. They aren’t flashy or beautiful really, they build flimsy stick nests and their coo isn’t terribly impressive. They are just an average bird, until you look a bit closer. Look at those eyelids and bright pink feet! But aside from that, why are they sitting in the downpour of rain when all the other birds have flown off to shelter? I feel a kinship to these doves. Sometimes we all have to just withstand the storms of life when it rains down on us. We hunker down and hope for it to end soon. It helps to have a few others to stand with you in it all too. The simplicity of a dove is a beautiful thing. God sent a dove as a message and symbol when Jesus was baptized. A poor mans sacrifice for forgiveness. Maybe they are not so simple after all.
A reminder of God’s amazing plan for our lives. After a long, dreary season there is a hope for new things to come. Precious gifts that speak to His tender mercies. Patience, faith, hope. Jesus’ words keep rolling through my head, “Not My will but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42
With the sunrise comes warmth, it brings light to what was dark. With the sunrise comes a hope for new beginnings and fresh starts. With the Sunrise comes a new day. The glow through dark, winter woods is a delight for the soul. There was a time I couldn’t see such beauty even if it stared me in the eye. I suppose that is why this sort of thing is truly monumental for me. The sunrise, the smell of the forest, the blanket of soft, green moss on everything. Taking the time to appreciate the smallest details and let them soak into my soul, I am so very grateful. I allow myself the time to bask in it even for just a few moments. It is always worth the effort.
I was out walking in the woods one quiet, spring morning soaking in the life unfolding around me. I heard a hummingbird buzz past me and it caught my attention. Hummingbirds are incredible creatures, part bird and almost part bug. They are also creatures of habit. They eat, they fight, and they guard their food sources. This one was out in the old conifers and big leaf maples. It made me curious where it was going way out there. It landed and seemed to be watching me. I decided to move on and look at something else that had interested me. While I was turned away I could hear that little bird fly a bit closer to me and I peaked over. It landed over my head about 15 feed away. I couldn’t believe was I was seeing. I changed lenses to my 300mm to get a closer look. There she was settling into a little pocket of moss hanging under a shelter of an old maple leaf. As I watched she vanished in her nest and was absolutely undetectable. Camouflaged perfectly in plain sight. To say it was incredible is an understatement. I memorized the spot and came back frequently to watch the progress. These photos are from when I first saw her to when she had little fledglings poking their beaks out. It went fast too. I missed a week once and suddenly they were grown ups standing on the side of the nest. I learned so much from this little encounter and was so enthralled with it. I will never forget the day I met a momma hummingbird and her tiny family. I am so very blessed to have been a witness to such a miracle. Some might call it magical. That is what it felt like. Like God’s hand of love and grace was upon me that spring morning and said “Look here, watch this… I have made beautiful, delicate things that will change your life. Just take a moment to watch with Me.”
Even in the depth of winter color shines through. Old leaves glow with slanting sunshine, seemingly held together by a spider’s web. A simple beauty that takes your breath away. In the busyness of life these moments between help bring what matters into focus and settles the restlessness within. Take time to breath deeply in whatever way moves you. Find your place of peace.