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Everyday miracles March 28, 2008

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, homesteading, wit and wisdom.
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With birth and rebirth all around us, no one needs to tell gardeners and homesteaders that the air of spring is thick with miracles. Just yesterday, as I patrolled the yard looking for signs of garden life, our friend Ben saw that the rhubarb leaves were just starting to emerge in the perennial vegetable bed. The thick leaf clusters were startling against the bare soil: wrinkled, red, and rayed, sea stars drifting in a chocolate tide.

And there was more: the first ‘Tete-a-Tete’ daffodils in bloom. In the root-choked soil under the great maple, the blooms barely cleared the ground, looking like clutches of yellow M&Ms scattered by a child whose solitary play had been suddenly interrupted. Then there is my Speckled Sussex hen, Roxanne, whose rich red and green plumage is spangled with white, a preview of the white spots flung like galaxies across her old-rose eggs.

These miracles are ephemeral, delighting us when we encounter them, the memories dissipating as others take their place. But some are more enduring.

Watching the hawks at play yesterday reminded our friend Ben of one such miracle that took place last fall. I had gone to Hawk Mountain, which is something of a miracle itself, to watch the great autumn raptor migration. Unfortunately, our friend Ben wasn’t the only one who had this bright idea. Were it not for all the pro-environment bumper stickers, I’d have thought I had taken a wrong turn and ended up in a Wal-Mart parking lot during peak shopping hours.

Our friend Ben finally found a space for the battered red VW Golf and began hiking, not up the mountain, but across what looked like miles of parking lot towards the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Center and Gift Shop. (Our friend Ben is a big believer in bathroom first, mountain second.) Suddenly, I became aware of a tiny child, a dark-haired girl no more than three or four years old. How I became aware of her in the press of bodies I’ll never know, but I somehow saw her detach her hand from her father’s and begin running the great length of the parking lot directly toward me.

I of course assumed that she had spotted someone she knew, and vaguely wondered why her father wasn’t coming after her or at least calling for her to come back, tiny as she was and easily lost in the obstacle course of moving arms and legs. But as I continued my progress towards the building, it dawned on me that we were on a collision course. I finally stopped just before the moment of impact, and so did the child. Then she leaned forward, very deliberately kissed my elbow, turned without a word, and ran back to her father.

Now our friend Ben may not know much, but even I have enough sense to know when I’ve been touched by an angel. That is one memory I’ll carry to my grave.   

Everyday miracles. Which ones will you find today? Which ones will find you?



1. reggieCasual - March 28, 2008

That is a beautiful story. Children can see people’s souls in a way that others can’t. Touched by an angel indeed.

Thanks, Reggie! And thanks for giving us great blogs like tomatoCasual and urbanCasual. So much fun to read, and informative, too!!!

2. Nancy Bond - March 28, 2008

What a touching story. Perhaps she needed not so much to be touched, as to touch. An angel indeed.

Good point!

3. Cinj - March 29, 2008

Lovely story, I love the details. Such vivid images. Children are very astute observers. I wonder what happens to that gift as we grow older….

So true–but there are exceptions, people who’ve been able to retain that sense of childlike wonder and joy all their lives. Children’s book authors like Beatrix Potter and Tasha Tudor especially spring to mind.

4. deb - March 29, 2008

That is one of the sweetest things I have ever read. She probably will not remember it, but you will never forget.

Thanks, Deb! It was certainly one of the most touching things that’s ever happened to me.

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