Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sweet neighbors

The backyard is alive with activity these mornings again, and it's wonderful. When I leave in a few minutes, even though the stars will be hidden behind a quilt of cloudiness that's been with us since Friday, the backyard will be hummin' with birds, in chorus, piping up the morning--just one more blessing of spring.

The really complex arias belong to the robins, virtuoso soloists. If they were arrogant, they could be divas; but it's hard to be proud on a diet of worms. The blessed cardinals light up the place gorgeously, but their chirping doesn't rank with the accomplishment of their hugely-breasted fellow choristers.

A pair of doves have been hanging around this spring, like last, making a home in the big spruce, I think (although I haven't seen it). I'm tempted to call them contraltos. Their recitals are never showy, quite understated, in fact, as if they don't want to make a big deal of things.

Our preacher opened up Noah's floating circus yesterday and pointed out something I'd never thought about before: the first spy he released from the ark was a raven, a raucous, muscular scavenger, who, would he have found dry land, inevitably could have filled his belly, what with the massive destruction and death of the flood. But the raven returned, ribs showing.

Then Noah sent the meek little dove, the second of which, as everyone knows, came back sweetly with a sprig of olive branch. Must have been as beautiful as a rainbow.
A dove. How perfect. Noah didn't grab some cocky, strutting grackle, and thank goodness it wasn't a blue jay, who, once he'd have returned, would have loved the limelight and made a huge deal out of being the hero. I can just hear him.

It was a sweet little dove, not a raven, nor a shrill seagull, nor some rusty red-tailed hawk--not even a screaming eagle. It was just a dove, a sweet little dove, an ancestor of the one that found a place in story of Jesus's own baptism, and--who knows?--maybe of this unassuming pair on our clothesline.

Don't know what all of that means exactly, but it just feels right.

It was a wonderful, comforting sermon, and as it ended in prayer, the doves in the coves of the roof of the old church where we were meeting cooed, well, approvingly.
Honestly, they did. This morning, I'm thankful for the doves.

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