I saw a woodchuck!
Odd that I almost missed him, mistaking him for a greyish/brown shopping bag stuck on a tree branch and blowing in the wimd. I was driving into the local mall and taking the back road, nestled between a parking lot and a stretch of overgrown grass and saplings. My mind was busy with the zillion of quick stops I had to make in the next hour. No time for detours.
As I drove towards my parking destination, I saw – from a distance – what my mind registered as a bit of trash trapped on a tree branch. I wondered quickly to myself if mall maintenance would clean that up or if it would be stuck there indefinitely. But, to my surprise and delight, as I drew closer, I saw that the alleged trash was, in fact, a treasure. A large woodchuck was balancing himself on the branch and taking in an afternoon snack of leaves. I saw his white teeth glistening beneath beady black eyes as his front paws simultaneously held tight to the branch and shoveled the greenery into his mouth.
I was stunned and stopped the car when I realized the charm of God’s creation I had witnessed, in the throes of a busy bee schedule of running here, there, and everywhere. I’d go no further till I could take a closer look. I had my camera in my purse – yes! I’d take a photo! My errands would have to wait – the power of nature’s serenity beckoned and I must answer the call to a moment of retreat and reflection on a sight rarely seen in overdeveloped suburbia. I looked to be sure no other car was coming behind me, put mine in reverse, and slowly backed up to the tree.
Alas, too late. The moment had passed, and I missed it. My woodchuck was gone – obviously he had shimmied down the tree and disappeared into the tall grass. I scolded myself for assuming the average when the extraordinary had been before me. The reprimand was well deserved. How quick I can be to dismiss treasure-trove moments of those things that are lovely, admirable, cheerful, and encouraging – those things God allows to daily drip into my day – forfeiting such gifts for the urgency of “to do” llists. My woodchuck opportunity had passed, and I didn’t seize the moment swiftly enough to make the most of stydying this elusive little bit of wildlife.
I wasn’t looking for him. So I missed him.
|Looking for the “LACE” in the little things God places in our paths.|
LOOK for the L.A.C.E. – as Trish at the Lily Rose Cottage might say. Oh, but what I might have gained had I been maintaining a sense of delightful expectancy of the Lovely, Admirable, Cheerful, and Encouraging! I might have assumed the extraordinary and stopped the car in the choicest moment, recognizing my serendipitous appointment to spy on his snack time, privileged to be able to share a moment in his life – as all humans are when nature comes out of hiding to remind us of simple joys and small pleasures.
Today I shall seek to apply said lesson to fresh opportunities – looking for lace. Perhaps, I might close out this blog, grab a cup of green tea, and roost, for a time on my love seat by the window, contemplating the sparrows that flit among the branches of the great fir tree in the front yard. Should I tarry long enough, who can say what treasures I may own from momentary meditations.
Sounds like a plan.
Joy to you in all good things and beauty . . . Miss Kathy
This is a debut post I am sharing with Trish at Lily Rose Cottage on L.A.C.E. Wednesday.