yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.”
One of these days, I’ll glance out the window into our backyard and see our first robin perched on the stones of the retaining wall or sitting, tail flicking, on wooden side of a garden box.
Seriously, it won’t be long and I’ll hear his or her unmistakable medley through the early morning darkness.
Yesterday, my wife says she and our daughter, on a trip to Omaha, were accompanied, up and back, by soaring echelons of geese as all of them followed the path of the Missouri River. I saw a flocks of them myself around a big bend of the Big Sioux just outside of Flandreau, South Dakota. In the next month there will be more. If I’m lucky I’ll be out myself with the camera on one of their busy travel days.
Won’t be long and the ornamental grasses all around the yard will have to be hacked down to make way for whole colonies of little green shoots that were probably waiting to poke their heads up and out of the cold earth--yesterday probably a bit impatiently. I’ll scratch away the detritus from the perennial bed, and find a spray of tiny green nubbins steering their up toward the light.
It’s still mid-February, and the first act of spring’s great drama would be premature if it were to be staged right now. This morning there’s no robin in the skeletal tree outside the window, but his—and her—time will come.
Easter is a ways off, spring solstice still a vision; it’s winter, not spring, even though the rivers are up with all that melting snow. Yesterday, late, I was just getting home when I missed the most beautiful shot of the day, when the broad orange strokes of a matchless sunset reflected off 80 acres of shallow water from all the melting snow. It was unique and grand. I'd love to show you, but it was late and time for me to get home. Yesterday, fifty degrees of warmth was a reminder that, maybe soon the long dark night of cold will once again be history.
In the darkness in the early verses of Psalm 77, Asaph tells himself to remember the miracles of his own people’s grand narrative: Moses parting the waters and bringing water from rocks; snakes raised up high in the wilderness. He urges his own doldrums away by remembering how the Egyptians wilted under the barrage of calamities—boils and bloody water, flies and pestilence and other God-directed horrors. He tells himself to remember the stories of God’s faithfulness, the ones that are so immensely memorable, the miracles.
Each of us can probably sing our own repertoire of miracles: how my mother’s emotional tribulations seemed non-existent after my dad’s death, for instance. None of her children guessed that she’s adjust to life alone as she did. That our children are well and happy. That we are.
My list is not as showy as an epidemic of frogs, as glorious as a being freed from generations of Egyptian slavery. I can’t remember, right off hand, any single event in my recent life that demonstrates supernatural interference in my daily existence—no one who didn’t get on a plane that crashed or lived in a house miraculously saved in the march of some killer storm.
But with life itself soon to be arising from every square inch of ground outside, the coming of spring is enough of a miracle to make me join the chorus of song soon to begin outside these windows, the song Asaph wants so badly to sing.