From the first page of summer’s journal

Just now a heron (a crane? a stork?) flew right over me as I stood by my window watching the dusk gather itself into evening, and I am at a loss for words to describe how it made me feel.

As its form rose over the trees and turned to climb above the fields, I thought at first it was a hawk, but it did not fly like a hawk. Then I thought it might be a goose, but it did not cry like a goose. Then, just as the bird was overhead, its brown body dusted in blush light from the remains of the sunset, I saw its long legs, the poised neck, graceful beak, and it let out a single honk of mysterious meaning before disappearing over the roof.

Stunned, feeling as if I had wakened from a prophetic dream, I stood frozen, my mouth open, heart beating quickly yet calmly beneath my chest, and wondered if I had just caught a wild glimpse of the divine, hidden in this perfect moment that I’d put my book down just in time to witness. Oh, how little I deserve to be privy to such beauty, to see God’s hand move in the wings of a bird. And yet God is faithful to bless his children in ways they could never devise on their own, not even in sleep, and not with their eyes.

And now it is blue hour, the sky a soft robin’s egg bearing soft pink feathers, wisps of clouds that whisper of a new heaven and new earth, caught somehow in the expanse above this old beat-up land. They float, whole, a glimpse of hope in the midst of that which is broken. And above even these, a deer leaps, twisting its neck to reach the purple horizon as its body gives itself over to dance. It’s moving in the direction of the stream.

As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth for Thee. Oh, Lord, quickly come. Have mercy on little old me.

—May 26, 2020

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