Early morning quiet time! It is the first day of spring and just warm enough to sit outside under a layer of blankets. The birds and I watch the sunrise and I can feel the tension melt off me. The breeze gently shakes the willow tree awake. I swear the branches are turning green right before my eyes. It is a perfect setting for my morning cup of coffee with the Lord.
I close my eyes, breath in deeply and my reward is the sound of boats on the lake. Must be a fishing tournament going on. I grab my headphones, turn on my music and try once again to focus. The buzz of their engines intensifies and it queues the neighboring dogs to join in. I can feel the anger start to simmer deep inside of me. I have waited all week for this morning and there is noise everywhere! Last weekend it was lawn mowers and leaf blowers in the morning, then in the afternoon it was dirt bikes and recreational vehicles using the neighborhood road as their personal speedway. How can these people be so inconsiderate? My temper rises with sun and I close my journal in disgust. I hope I at least get credit for showing up. It is really not my fault that I can’t hear you Lord.
My mind starts to wander to my to do list and I look around my garden that has started to perk up from its long winter sleep. I can see all the work that needs to be done, beds cleaned out, dead flower heads trimmed and flower pots emptied and refilled with fresh soil. Since I am unable to concentrate I might as well get to work. My soul is still hungry and I can feel the early stages of a bad mood. I get up to find my bucket of tools and head to the garden. I decide to tackle the dead flower heads. I bend down to reach for my pruners and from that angle the sun shines through the nearly transparent pedals of my dried hydrangea and it is beautiful. Inspired, I go find my camera and try to capture the magic in my lens. It takes a few attempts to get a shot that is remotely close to the real thing. During the photo shoot I am gently reminded that the noise was still around me and I am not as aware of it. My focus is on beauty and the irony of that beauty being found in something I just labeled as ugly did not slip by me. There is beauty in everything, if one learns to look for it.
A gentle breeze ruffles my hair into my eyes causing me to run my fingers through it. It almost felt like the Lord was giving it a tousle as if I were a young child. I sense his amusement. The birds that were quietly eating breakfast at the nearby feeder, break out in shrieks, it sounds like laughter. I guess I am expecting the world to stop because I step outside. I smile too as I start to see the humor in my rant. If I want quiet time then I will have to discipline myself to tune out the world.
I do have other senses I can use if my hearing is being compromised. I can see that he is everywhere as I walk in his wonder of nature and feel the heat of him in the sunrays. I breathe in deep and smell my favorite smell of damp earth and I imagine future smells of sweet flowers. I take my camera and I search for other things to capture. I have to overlook the ugly, noisy world and search for beauty.
I focus on how the light changes the scenery as it plays hide and seek with the clouds. If I focus on that light, I see how it changes a drab black bird into a brilliant hued specimen of deep purple-black and midnight blues.
I see the gray finches feathers streaked with golden-yellow, a hint of their summer attire and a chickadee house-hunting.
I see daffodils glow in the sun and the brilliant green of the willow tree buds.
My camera tries to capture it all and my soul is fulfilled.
I wander around in my garden, oblivious to the noise. I am feeding my soul instead of feeding my anger. I have hungered for this nourishment all week-long and I hope it will sustain me for the upcoming week. Feeding the soul is as important as feeding the body. I remember how it felt when my soul was near death from starvation. I need to keep up this practice or I will end up that way again. I am sure I will have to return to this lesson over and over again this summer as the world around me gets louder and louder. I immediately focus on the negative and it is a hard habit to break.