(Reprint from May 2015) A miracle can be simply a sudden shift in perception that causes us to say WOW—an opening of eyes to a new way of seeing or being. This experience caused me to shift my attention (and my activity) for long enough that it got me thinking differently about a few important things. Mothering for one.
There they were: snuggled in a corner
right next to my garage door.
I could have easily walked right by,
missed the miracle of their soft presence.
At first, I simply watched, giving space &
knowing mama duck would be back soon.
She didn’t come, so I did what any
good mother would do…dropped all my plans,
gave them a bit of nourishment
and O P E N E D to the rest of the miracle.
My heart is still a bit tender for those darling ducklings that were, at least temporarily, abandoned by their mother.
To be honest, I’m still a bit astonished that mama duck could have left them in my driveway, where they most likely would have dehydrated had I not found them and saved them with a bit of water. (I can still see them splashing happily in the pie-pan as soon as I stepped back to give them space to drink.)
But nature isn’t always kind and things happen that make our hearts go owww. I don’t know for sure the babies were reunited with their mother. I do know they were revived enough by my temporary care to head back toward their watery home. My sense is that she was calling for them.
It’s a miracle any baby animal gets to survive the trials of growing up in nature. It can also be a miracle to wrap our hearts around a tender moment such as this.
My real miracle came after I realized how easy it would have been to miss the opportunity to give a bit of supply to someone(s) in need. I had a long ‘list’ of things I ‘needed’ to do that day, and it would have been very easy to walk right past this one. But the mother in me stepped in to put my list aside, attend to an obvious need, and give what was mine to give.
After I shifted my attention and slowed my pace to attend to those babies, I began to notice that I’d gotten a bit caught up in the creative flurry that comes at this time of year, and that I wasn’t totally practicing what I’m teaching these days: slowing down to savor the simple miracles of life.
I wouldn’t want to miss a miracle, would you?
I’m not saying drop everything, every day. I’m not saying move at a pace that feels sluggish to you. Part of the wonder of life is getting caught up in the flurry of changing seasons and allowing our attention to blossom right along with the trees. I love that about spring.
But if you’re racing around with too many things on your list to notice when you’re about to trip over one of life’s wonders … you might just want to stop-look-listen-breathe-sigh-gasp and create a bit more space in your days.
Open your eyes and look around you.
What miracles are trying to find you today?