Everyday miracles March 28, 2008Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, homesteading, wit and wisdom.
Tags: Hawk Mountain, miracles, spring
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?