Little Miracles Everywhere
To be honest, winter wasn’t so bad this year – certainly a big improvement over the brutal winters we have had over the last few years. Life-threateningly cold, highway clogging snow storms, and bitter winds forced most of us to seek shelter in our warm homes. I often thought about the homeless during those harsh savage winters. I even made a note to myself to remember those poor folks and in some way help them the following winter – but like so many things these days – I forgot.
But It is what it is.
Spring has finally started to sneak up on us here in the Great Lakes part of the country. But Mother Nature is a capricious lady and I know, because I’ve lived through so any springs here that snow may be swirling around in the spring air as late as early May. Not that Mother Nature can fool me at my age, because I know she has more surprises ahead. Early spring can throw some mighty big surprises at us. Just when you think she’s going to hand summer the reins, she gives them back to winter and snow starts flying. It will be mid-May here before we can officially say goodbye to old man winter.
The last few days have been sunnier and nicer. It’s not that we’re having a heat wave by any stretch. It is still a task to walk outside. It’s been in the 50’s and with the unrelenting spring winds – sometime gales – walking hasn’t been exactly easy. And now, as if winter’s going to come back and andslap us in the face – it’s going to get bitterly cold for the next week or so. And all the weight I gained over the winter isn’t helping much. I feel like I am slogging along carrying a truck tire. I hope to discard the tire sometime within the coming months, although the pizza I had for lunch today isn’t going to help that cause. Hey my son took me to lunch. I didn’t want to disappoint him by eating a few leaves of lettuce spruced up with some chopped tomatoes and onions. He’s buying – I’m eating.
I had some health problems the year before last that kept me off the walking trails for over a year. Then I just plain old got lazy. Before that, I trudged through wind and rain, snow and cold, blizzards and thunderstorms – I didn’t let anything stop me. But age is a challenging thing. I have been healthy all my life so it was difficult for me having a ton of health problems all at once. Luckily for me, I have, for the most part overcome almost all of those maladies. That is not to say I’m a bastion of health. I am not. Besides the truck tire I lug around, there is something wrong with my knee and sometimes when I walk I hobble like Dr. House. But I’m out there walking almost every day. Not as far as I’d like and not as fast as I’d like but I’m out there trying. From where I was this time last year until now, it’s a little miracle I’m out there walking at all.
So before I get into other little miracles, let me say I’m most grateful for the little miracle of being able to take my walks now after such a long hiatus.
Walking for me is more than just good exercise; walking leads me to discovery. And thanks to the recent moderation in the weather, and a bit of improvement in my health, I’ve been able to take a little be longer walks that have allowed me to make new discoveries. This week, for example, I’ve discovered a lot of, what I call, little miracles.
But before we get into little miracles, I would like to make it clear that I’ve not seen any sick people instantly and magically healed. I’ve not seen any miracle workers make fire appear from the sky. I’ve not witnessed any miracles that the word “miracles” normally conjures up. But miracles are not just the spectacular ones you read about – and the ones you have most likely never seen. I will bet you though that you’ve seen plenty of miracles. We’ve all seen miracles. Maybe you just didn’t recognize them.
There are little miracles all around, and they are every bit as much miracles as those marvelous, incredible big miracles that most of us will never see.
Take a look around – you will see little miracles everywhere.
The death and darkness of winter is slowly being replaced by the light and rebirth that comes with spring. The tiny shoots of crocuses pushing up through the cold mud are little miracles. Once lifeless and forlorn for most of the winter, their little green leaves are a reminder to me of the miracle and the tenaciousness of life. Tiny green shoots with the almost-blooming purple buds are the little miracles of life that surround me and you every day.
A couple of days ago, it was particularly windy. It was so windy in fact, it was difficult for me to walk into the wind. But, looking up, I saw a flock of birds flying northward in a perfect V. Though they were flying into the teeth of a strong late-winter wind they were moving northward and a good pace and the perfect V they formed never wavered. Another little miracle. While I struggled below and fought the wind, they appeared to float effortlessly above me. They moved with such with grace and majesty through the early spring sky. As I struggled to walk on the ground below I watched them until they flew out of sight. They too reminded me of the wonders of and inconceivable number of varieties of life.
They flew above me, flying seemingly effortlessly – little miracles in the sky.
As I walk along the forest trail, which winds through the still-sleeping but awakening trees, the ground looks brown, black and lifeless. But a closer look reveals a totally different world, I realized the dull, nearly lifeless forest, was very much alive. Small black squirrels scurried along the forest floor, oblivious to my presence, and doing whatever it is that black squirrels do in early spring. They neither toil nor sow, but they scurry around finding plenty of food to eat and water to drink. Whatever they do they do in a hurry.
And as I walked along the wooded path. I smiled as I watched them – tiny miracles all.
I am sure as spring approaches summer, there will be many more little miracles for me to see, and all I have to do is take the time to look: The greening grass, that first really warm spring breeze that says “spring is here!”, and trees, once dead, with tiny leaves ready to unfurl and paint the forest green again.
I imagine if I conducted a survey and asked the question: ”Have you ever seen a miracle?” most people would probably say no. But I know they have; they just don’t recognize them.
Miracles are not so rare. Just look around and you will see you are surrounded by little miracles. Your children; your friends; your pets; your memories; a bright blue sky; a perfect spring day; a tulip pushing its way up through the frozen ground; a flock of birds, a sailboat sailing on a lake as smooth as a mirror; a child flying a kite; a beautiful and fiery sunset; the twinkling canopy of stars on a dark, clear night All are little miracles – and all you have to do is look for them.
Little miracles are all around us, and we take them for granted. Little miracles are everywhere and all you need to do is open your eyes and look for them – you’ll see them.
Little miracles are not so little after all.