I have a massive love of the out-of-doors.  There is nothing better than being out in.  But, if I can't be out in it, I love to have the windows open feeling like all that is between me and nature is a screen.  Sometimes even in the winter I like to crack the bedroom window just a tad to feel the air - to feel connected to the outdoors when you are penned in by winter.  There is something though very soothing, magical, even energizing to hearing the sounds of nature as I drift off to sleep or lay quietly embracing the morning.  Laying in bed with the windows open early one morning recently I could see through the cracks in the blinds that it was, once again, a gray cloudy day.  Spring just wouldn't relent to summer nor did it seem to do what its name implies - move us forward to something different.  For a bit I laid there disgusted that once again there was no blue sky, no sun.  We were facing another day strung onto the rope of gray, cloudy, drizzly days in a row.  I sighed inside longing for the lightness that warmth and sun bring to my soul - the energy I get from those days.  As I paused my mental loop of weather despair preparing to repeat it all over again in my head, I heard the birds.  Wow, I thought, do they not know it's gray, cool and drizzly?  Do they not know it is day 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 or most of March, April and May that have not been sunny?  No, I said as I answered my own questions.  For whatever reason and by God's design they were either not aware of the gray that had stretched on endlessly or that was not the focus of their world.  How could those birds sing such joy in the midst of the gray, the clouds, the cool and even the rain?  I wished just for a moment I was a bird.  Maybe then I would really know what it is to find joy and contentment no matter the circumstance, the condition, the disappointment.  I have too many times let the song stop for stretches in my life - sitting in silence, pain, handling and rehandling regret, drowning in grief, buried under the weight of dashed hopes and dreams, losing my perspective and my hope in the midst.  A few days later as I sat on the front porch I heard the sound of a flock of geese flying low and close.  Looking upward I saw the v-formation and heard the sound of dozens of geese.  It was an absolutely amazing sight.  There they were, flying together, squawking in what seemed almost like encouragement to each other.  My mind pictured those in that gaggle conversing in a way that helps us to connect to finding joy and presence in the moments of life (flying for them) - no matter the condition of the weather, or circumstance, or even the state of our spirit. 

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