What might have been

“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”
― Henry David Thoreau

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(a lone tiny blue bird egg placed into the nest of a wren / Julie Cook / 2015)

Every day they came and went.
In and out
Day in and day out
Rain or shine
Relentless and driven

Watchful
Weary
Skittish
Flighty
Suspicious

Upon each approach, deep within,
a loud din of chatter rose to a deafening crescendo. . .
Which would immediately cease upon each departure. . .

Were they or weren’t they. . .really inside?
Two came and two went
Yet the sound of many existed.
How many lived within?
How big have they grown?

And yet which is witnessed with all of life,
consistency and forever grow more and more elusive
The arrival of the quiet strange day proved just that

The zeal of activity was missing
Things had grown eerily quiet.
No flurry of the comings and goings
Emptiness hung in the air.

Oddly a cache of feathers was discovered nearby.
Had there been a struggle?
Had there been a violent encounter?
Were they the feathers of parent or child.
What had happened?
Had they all flown away?
Had they all made it?

Watching and waiting
There was nothing, no one
No one in
No one out
No sounds.
No clamoring
No singing
Nothing

With trepidation and grave concern
Slowly and carefully
The door is painstakingly raised.
There is not a sound
No shrill peeps
No squeaking or jabbering
No yellow wide opened mouthes
No bulging eyes
No downy feathers.
Nothing
Nothing but a lone, tiny blue egg. . .
and the myriad of question as to what might have been. . .

revealed secrets give way to waiting

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.”
Andrew Wyeth

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(rainy day in Georgia / Julie Cook / 2013)

Once all the blooms have faded, the last scarlet leaf floats away and those transit warm weather residents have packed up, moving elsewhere, the stories of a season, or sometimes two, reveal, for good or bad, their secrets.

The canopy of trees and shrubs, full of their once glossy leaves, which acted as an insulating blanket, covering and concealing the birth of fawns and the hatching of chicks and poults—all providing sanctuary to the pups and kits who called the woods home, now lay barren, exposed and painfully open to predator and foe.

Our Autumn, Nature’s explosive time of glorious fading, is now giving way to Winter’s often harsh time of waiting and anticipation—Nature’s Advent. It is throughout the long winter, with its snow, rain, ice and cold, that Nature patiently and expectantly waits, hunkers down and fortifies itself while looking forward and toward a Spring which will offer to all the long suffering— a renewal of life.

The cyclical rhythm of life, which so beautifully mirrors that of our deep and abiding faith, is certainly instep as we find ourselves preparing to begin our own season of waiting and watching–expectant anticipation.

On this new day to this new week, may the unseen secret stories of life slowly, yet delightfully mysterious, make themselves known–may you, in your time of expectant waiting and anticipation, find peace with what has been, as well as with what currently is—I pray that your season of Advent will yield not only to hope but to an unparalleled sense of joy. Amen, amen.