Contemplative Dawn

A red finch and I watch from my second floor deck as God’s dawn alights with the softest pastel colors on an array of bulbous clouds. Low, flat-bottomed clouds carry the blue-grays; the cumulus proudly reach their necks up to catch the later sunrays, receiving a brilliant spotlight, like tree tops peaking above early valley fog. In between, the barest of mauves and pinks gently kiss cloud surfaces, like a mother bathing a newborn, slowly lingering in enjoyment of the intimate moment. The bay’s waters ripple softly like the pattern in my shower glass door, carrying the bright whites and pastels from sky to earth in shimmering ecstasy.

The morning is full of happy birds chirping and flitting about. They gather on the bird feeder they emptied yesterday, almost as if to say, ‘Can you not see it’s empty and we’re ready to eat?’ Like a dog pushing its empty food bowl noisily around, I am reminded of a duty to perform, but not yet. It is too deliciously still. The silence is so delicate that I can hear the rapid f-f-flutter of the feathery wings of each nearby bird as it flies to its next perch. Tiny schools of fish skim the bay’s calm surface, while punctuations occur here and there from a breakfast morsel getting nibbled from some sea creature below.

The Choctawhatchie Bay stretches itself before me and I try to imagine for a moment all of the life below its surface, serenely awakening and undulating their sleek bodies through the depths and shallows.

The cypress tree stands its guard as usual, its stalagtite-like roots as sentries below it. The birds disappear securely behind its leaves, or perch momentarily on its lone peak, a leafless branch offered generously for such overviews.

Morning glories are singing silently below in the wetland area by the sea wall. I can’t wait to get to heaven to hear their melodies. Even muted, they make me smile.

Thunder greets me as a heavy-laden cloud inches its way overhead. It will pass without a drop here. Skies are mostly blue still and the wind hasn’t shown itself on the water’s surface yet. I scan the bay for signs of dolphin but no fins break its surface.

Another rumble from the thunderhead reminds me to avoid grumbling this day and maintain a peaceful inner sanctity for the benefit of those around me.

Oh my! The rumble I hear causes me to look up. Greeting my eyes is a most magnificent cumulonimbus cloud. Fat, full and still climbing in altitude, it hurts my eyes to loop upon its brilliance reflecting the rising sun’s light. The description of Jesus’ transformation comes to mind on the mountain with Peter, James and beloved John witnessing and reporting to us. It is so dazzlingly white! I try over and over to look upon it for its brilliance transfixes one’s gaze. It is too much. Each time I must look away in pain from ocular overwhelm. The powerful reflective light is too much. Another reminder of the exquisite levels of blissful exhilarating joy, beauty and sound that await us in our heavenly home. Not yet, my soul, not yet! We have much work to do and joy to spread before to this life we are dead.

It’s time for coffee and later, for black swallow butterflies to gather the sweetness of my flowers that lift their stamens to their loving Creator and me. I offer my heart to you, Lord, this day in love and joy and gratitude for this gentle, tender, contemplative dawn so full of your masterful touches.