Friday, November 22, 2013


I sat in a chair by the living room window, watching for my ride to a writers' meeting. 

Of course, if my friend had been able to sleep the night before, she wouldn't be running late. And if my husband's stupid car had just started that morning, I wouldn't have had to trouble her to give me a ride. And maybe my phone wouldn't have been chirping like a canary with incoming texts as the arrangements for a simple meeting developed more and more complications. 

In front of our house is a small dogwood tree, flanked on either side by towering sycamores, with wild, flailing arms that always seem poised to strangle the little tree. A couple of times we thought the poor tree had died.

While I waited, a bird flew into the dogwood. A bluebird.

Happy sigh. We live in a forested area, with a profusion of birds, but I don't see many bluebirds. I watched with interest, enjoying his blue and brown plumage. After all, I had a "bluebird of happiness" in my own little dogwood tree.

Soon he was joined by two more bluebirds. 

A trinity of bluebirds. Extraordinary.  

When I sat down, I had been "anxious about many things," like Martha in the Bible. Waiting for a ride had forced me to assume a Mary pose--just watching and listening. Just being.

Suddenly I saw that there was, in fact, a cloud of bluebirds--male and female--surrounding the little tree. Some lighted in the dogwood, some in the sycamore branches. 

It didn't even occur to me to grab a camera. It was a burning bush moment, and I didn't want to blink.

The bluebirds stayed for about ten minutes. By the time my ride came, they were gone--but captured in my heart forever. I can't seem to find the fancy name for a group of bluebirds (as in Congress of Crows, Exaltation of Larks), and so I have dubbed them a Blessing of Bluebirds.

In a long string of ordinary days, I may not see a single bluebird. Apparently, this day wasn't ordinary. I suspect that the birds came as a cloud of witnesses, messengers from the Creator.

The message? I think it was simply, "I'm still here. I still love you. Have a good day."

Not the off-handed way a grocery clerk might say, "Have a nice day." When God says "Have a good day," it's more like when Forrest Gump holds out a box of chocolates and offers you a piece. It means, "Here, have a good day. This one has your name on it."

And it was a lovely day. I had a great time with my friends at the restaurant and at the library. Due to another "complication," the library meeting room was occupied, and we met in the children's reading nook--a delightful space.

A window at the library--Photo by Jenny Kyrlach

And, as a special surprise, I found the librarians had made a display of books to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. And the centerpiece of the display was my article on the subject, clipped from the newspaper and framed.

I guess you'd have to be a writer to appreciate the smile that put on my heart. 

It took some complications that morning to help me to be still, to pay attention, to listen, to be aware that God wanted to be involved in my day. If my husband's "stupid car" had started that morning, I would have missed the Blessing of Bluebirds.

And that fleeting mythic moment remains a lovely, lasting reminder that this is the day the Lord has made. This day. Every day. He's still here. He still loves us. Let's accept the good day that is freely offered.


  1. Love it, love it, LOVE IT!!!! So true. We need to BE STILL and LISTEN. I still have such a hard time with this. But what a beautiful reminder of what awaits us if we obey. Thank you for this post. Love you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  2. That's so beautiful. What a blessing to share the moment with one of the most lovely of God's creatures. Thank you for sharing.

  3. From now on the word blessing will call to mind your collective noun for bluebirds...most appropriate and a real blessing to me. Thanks for reminding us that what may initially seem like a "complication" is really an opening for a greater blessing. And that library display and "Patty" centerpiece...awesome! Blessings on blessings...for your birthday! Happy New Year!