This winter I’ve been aware of a particular bird. It’s one of the things I miss most during our hibernation, second to sunlight. The soul-stirring songs of the out-of-doors, a call to worship. These past months my heart’s been tuned to songs of praise, indoors and out, and I hear this one sweet note above the others.
I didn’t know what it was at first. I was driving home from the retreat with Patti; she’s a bird-lover, too, and I can’t remember exactly how it started. Me driving, and Patti searching Google on her phone for birdcalls, and for over an hour we played this game. Do you know this one? Warbler. Sparrow. Cardinal. Thrush. Each of us listening for a particular sound, Patti continuing her search long after I’d dropped her off at the restaurant where she met her family. The next day she sent me a text to say she’d finally found it. The Northern Mockingbird. Her favorite. Mine was more obvious, the fee-bee whistle of the Chickadee’s song.
Here at home I link my phone to dining room speakers, and listen to the playlist my boys helped me create when we were in Iowa together. Two hours of favorites, some old, some new, and I think about boys who worship and a mom’s heart near to bursting. Shane & Shane’s Psalm 46. Hillsong’s Seasons. Praise the Lord Ye Heavens sung by a band called Young Oceans, new to me. And NEEDTOBREATHE, not new, Walking on Water. And then Elevation Worship sings this exquisite song titled Fullness, and yes, I can say it. I really am FULL.
A whole winter of worship and even those 10 inches of new snow arriving this weekend can’t extinguish the hopeful melody of birdsong outside and His song inside, and if creation sings your praises, so will I.*
Yesterday I made a wonderful discovery. A blogger who calls herself “Modern Mrs. Darcy.” How delightfully nerdy is that?! She blogs about books (!) and I know right away I love her because her 25 classic recommendations are nearly all titles I’ve read and loved and wished for more, and the lists on this website could keep me in books for years if I’m lucky, with spring break just around the corner!! (Breathe deeply.) Two new books sit at my bedside, fresh from a trip to the Rum River Library.
Earlier this morning I sat at my computer in my bedroom chair, snow piled high outside my window. The door across the hallway opened and Maple’s tail nearly wagged right off when she saw who it was. Ali came in late last night, here for the weekend. She’s Maple’s favorite and Luke’s, too. And it’s this exact scenario that inspired Kyle’s Valentine to me just over a week ago. You make my tail wag – on the cover, and inside a silly sweet poem penned by my hubby. He used to write limericks to me in hand-written letters, eons ago during the months of our engagement when we were living apart. (Sigh.) Young love. Now Luke and Ali are long-distance dating, and instead of writing letters they have movie nights over Skype.
But not today. Today they’re downstairs together, a favorite movie and a favorite person, favorite dog serving as chaperone. There’s snow melting and more in the forecast, and we’re all doing our best to convince Ali that Minnesota could be her next favorite state. Realizing we’ve got some work to do, since the girl’s from the mountains of Colorado, and we’ll see how it goes.
Just an hour or so ago I came back from a run, high on the glories of sunshine and 30’s and fresh-fallen snow. The birds are chirping and there’s spring in the air. I’m thinking about Caribou Coffee’s Bold North theme and how their marketing must have been aimed right at me, because I wanted to hoard all those cardboard cups with their Minnesota sketches. And I ran past this man, he was shoveling his driveway on the far side of the neighborhood, Mr. Bold North if I ever saw him. Thick flannel shirt and longish gray hair curling up underneath his stocking cap. Great day for a run! He calls out and I answer. It’s a beautiful one! As I round the corner I hear him add, “Better than Florida, I’d say.” And it is. Because at least for today – THIS is my favorite.
*Hillsong United’s So Will I, still my favorite!