Updated: Aug 14
Friends, I have something to tell you, I am not a morning person. For those of you who see me during the 9:00am worship service and think, “There’s a person who’s got it together,” don’t be fooled. I’m often using the church hymnals to hide my yawning. I do admire morning people, though. I’m an introverted person, and mornings offer a solitude that I envy. Morning people also tend to be kind. I once entered a coffee shop in the wee hours and a person looked up at me pleasantly and said, “Good morning.” Now many of you might assume that this is just common human decency, but I was flattered, because before 8:00am I tend to look strikingly similar to Francisco Goya’s painting “Saturn Devouring His Son” (look that one up).
This morning I decided to be brave and venture into the unknown. I woke up early. On purpose. For those of you who might have immediate thoughts of concern, I’m okay, I survived. But I would like to share with you what I found, it’s in the picture shared above. There’s a lake by my house, and every morning when the sun stretches her arms to greet it there are few more comforting sights. And I noticed, sharing the pier, were two mallards and an egret. It was as if they were sharing the morning together like strangers share coffee at adjacent tables.
I’ve been thinking about these birds all morning. Do they know they are different? Are they like us who notice our separateness in the aisles of the grocery store, or in our brief glances at a stop light? Do they perceive their differences as unsafe? What do they know about each other and the world they share? And what compelled them to have the audacity to share their morning together despite their fears?
Perhaps I’m overthinking. Perhaps not. I think a lot about relationships. I live, as so many of us do, in the tension of sharing the world with our earthly neighbors. Sharing seems to be one of the harder things we do, yet, it is what we were made for. Letting each other in is hard. But this morning, I wondered, I wandered, and I tried to let the world in. I wondered about the birds, the trees, and the spider webs. I have walked into so many spider webs and never stopped to wonder about the home now stuck in my hair. I’ve brushed away so many bugs without stopping to wonder what they make of my body. Do they wonder about me? Do they stare up at the peaks of my knuckles like some great wilderness?
God did not make me a morning person, but the Gentle Creator did make me for relationships. God made me to notice, and this morning I noticed two mallards and an egret, who, despite all I could think of that would keep them apart, noticed each other. I am on a lifelong journey to let the world in. I’m taking a lesson from the birds.