Small Mercies

On Christmas Day I saw about 22 bald eagles in a big tree on the farmlands  just south of Chuckanut Drive. That was a big thing for me! But today in these waning days of the year, I’m thinking about all the much smaller things that enrich our lives.

We will soon begin to notice those few extra blessed minutes of light each day. The days are getting longer! Life is good!

Toshiba Digital Camera

On our walk down the road from my house last week, my son called my attention to two black turnstones hard at work at the water’s edge. I would have missed these small shorebirds otherwise. Yes, they do turn over the stones to find invertebrate snacks beneath them. These are rare birds for us. Small gifts!

A tall, older man walks once or twice a day down our road and often carries a hand clippers to snip off any tendrils or twigs that even think about stretching out into the narrow walking path beside the busy road. He does this week after week, all year long. I try to remember to thank him often for keeping us all safe.

Right around the time that our president was mocking and demeaning the young Swedish girl when she received Time’s Person of the Year Award for her activism (for which he had also been nominated), I saw a woman in the grocery store with a sweatshirt with this message, “Make America Love Again!” I smiled at her, but if I see her again, I will thank her. I might even hug her.

An unusually beautiful sunrise, a chattering Stellar’s jay, a stranger holding the door for you, my neighbor offering to prune my grape vines. All small mercies that can turn your day around.

Toshiba Digital Camera

It’s easy to be grateful for the big things, like having a roof over our heads and food in the refrigerator and seeing 22 eagles at once. But these little things sometimes escape our notice. I don’t often make New Year’s resolutions, but this might be a good one.


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