I awoke this morning excited to be trying out a new exercise class just down the street from me. This is a big deal because I live 20 minutes from town, so the idea that I could walk to something is thrilling. (Obviously I thrill easily.)
I skip out my front door, eager to head to this new adventure. The birds are chattering; the sun is shining through cloud cover; it’s a comfortable temperature outside. I approach the house with hesitation, because while I’m right on time, I can see no evidence of others gathering. I knock on the glass door, startling the long-haired black cat who is lounging on the rug. We stare at each other for a bit, me trying to impress upon the feline the importance of alerting his mistress that there is someone at the door, because I know that the bedrooms are far from the front room, and far from the sound of my gentle knocking. It feels so peaceful standing at the doorway, mind-melding with the cat, but after awhile it becomes apparent that no one is coming.
I gingerly walk back across the slightly damp earth to our little country lane, heading toward home. The sound of birdsong has gotten louder since my walk up the lane just a few minutes ago. It’s not mobbing behavior (meaning that a bunch of scrub jays are hollering at a crow, or something like that), just lots of chattering.
Walking up the driveway, I hear the flap, flap, flap of wings slapping the bodies of birds as they take off and land near my pond. The surrounding trees are full of band-tailed pigeons. Watching them swoop and dive down to the front yard pond, I’m struck by how beautiful their coordinated movements are. They swirl and flit, without ever looking like they’ll run into each other, but so close to each other as to give me pause.
As I’m standing here, I notice a smaller bird on the mound just in front of me. It’s a small, brown hopping bird, scratching at the ground, I assume it’s looking for breakfast. And then to my left, I heard the agitated chit of a dark-eyed junco. I’m not sure why it’s chitting at me, unless it wanted me to know that it was there, because the moment that I turned to look, the bird settled down to stripping seeds from the blade of grass it was sitting near.
Watching the birds soar, marveling at the perfection of the moment, I realize that if class had actually happened today, I would have missed this beauty.
When I got back into the house, I emailed the woman who was teaching the class. She had apparently sent an email yesterday letting folks know that the class was cancelled for today, but I didn’t get that email. I am grateful for that missed email. Grateful for the nudge to get outside and spend sometime in the fresh air, listening to the birds and watching nature in all her glory.
I am noticing the perfection of the missed email and the cancelled class. I was excited and expectant around a particular event that didn’t happen, and yet, what I got was perfect in its own right. It’s these quiet sorts of miracles that fill my days. I love that. Look around, are you missing miracles because you’re defining life too closely? We have no idea what’s supposed to happen. Allowing ‘what is’ to be what is supposed to be is my current learning edge.