Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Birdies in the Treetops and the Starry Morning Sky

Yes, I actually wrote today's post today...

Today is the first day of spring.  Normally, out west, this day would be likely to yield inches of snow, possibly multiple feet would be accumulated during the month of March.  Temperatures would rise above zero, only long and high enough to tease…then drop below and send us shivering back into the house.  Cabin fever reigned in those springs.  That maddening desire to get outside weeks before the weather was conducive to such activity.

But not this year.  This year I live in a land of seasons.  And as if to welcome me here we are experiencing record-blasting temperatures this week, bringing spring in with temperatures those in my former town would consider summer heat.  I am enjoying every minute of this wonderful warmth, while wondering how cold the normal spring temperatures – still a far cry warmer than was normal in Alberta – will feel when they return this weekend.

However, I will not think about that.  I will simply enjoy every day as it comes.  This morning that meant that, seeing that the temperature at 6 am had already reached a tolerable 6 degrees, I took my coffee onto the deck.  It seemed incongruous to me to be warm enough to be outside yet to have stars still twinkling above.  I tried to resist the urge to name every star I saw, did have to get out my “Pocket Astronomer” and figure out a few locations, but managed to put it away after a short time and simply stare in wonder at the beauty above.  I really do like to know what I’m looking at (and am currently still getting used to where things are in relation to my new home), but sometimes I need to just enjoy the beauty.  (The photo is of Venus & Jupiter taken in the evening about a week ago.)

I spent almost an hour on the deck this morning.  It was too damp to sit, and I was too lazy to get a towel to dry anything off, so I stood at the end of the deck, gazing across the lawn up at the stars and over at the trees.  Saturn was out this morning, not far below Arcturus, shining brightly among its twinkling friends.  I did not want to take the time this morning to get out the telescope, but will make a note to have it ready tomorrow.  Turning off the kitchen light will give me zero light pollution.  Just one more benefit to living in the country!

Another benefit is the birds.  As I gazed at the beautiful, starry sky, I was treated to the most delightful sound.  The birds were waking up.  At first there were only two or three distinct calls, but within a half an hour there were more than I could count!  The many layers of sound intrigue me and whenever I’m outside listening to the birds I find my ears listening to see how many I can distinguish as unique calls.  I decided to find some good bird call websites and see how many calls I can learn to identify.  I find it frustrating that I can hear them but can’t see who they are.  I can recognize the distinctive calls of the chickadees and mourning doves so far, but there are so many more!  Learning their song should help me to know who is treating me to such glorious music each day.  (The robin in this photo, taken through my binoculars, reminds me of the song at the end of this post.)

I was reminded, as I often am on days like this, of a song I learned at camp many years ago.  It goes like this:

What a beautiful day, a beautiful time to say, Thank You, Jesus.
What a beautiful day, a beautiful time to say, Thank You, Jesus.
The sun is so bright, the sky is so blue
All the birds are singing praise to You.
What a beautiful day, a beautiful time to say, Thank You, Jesus.

The birds sing His praise all around me, and I can’t help but join in their song.  Before coming in I took a deep breath of the fresh morning air.  I could stand on my deck for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy.  I could stay outside, never leaving this land, and be as content as one of the birds who sang to me this morning.  On second thought, I probably wouldn’t stay on the deck, but would have to wander over the lawns and through the trees, across the creek and into the pasture.  But I could stay here and never leave…  but there is more to life than the enjoyment of one’s blessings.  It is good to count them and sing praise to the One who blesses, but there is work to be done, so I returned to the indoors where my work waits for the attention it needs today.

And this is the reason I have not posted in awhile.  I will be giving a workshop at the Kitchener/Waterloo Home Education Conference on March 31.  Writing my workshop had taken some time, and yesterday I discovered that the work I did last week had been lost through the wonders of technology.  I have a little over a week to re-write what I lost and to complete it as well, so that will be my focus for the next while.  My other somewhat large project for the spring is the Annual Ceremonial Review for our cadet squadron, which I have been put in charge of.  I’ve done this two years before, but this is my first year with this squadron and I’m still getting to know how they do things out here.  That will be another focus over the next several months.

And for the next few days I, along with the rest of my family, will be focused on the chicks!  Two new laying hens will have to be introduced to our veterans in the barn.  And six baby chicks will be requiring our care over the next few days.  They may not need as much care as we give them, but being the greenhorns that we are we will be giving them care anyway!  The girls are very excited and have cleaned up their room to make space for the brooder.  Having chicks in a bedroom, I am sure we will discover quickly, is not ideal, however we need them in a room that can be closed to keep the cat out when we are not around to supervise.  So that is where they’ll start. 

So for now I must get to work.  But I will be back tomorrow to post pictures of the girls and their chicks!  Until then, breathe deep of the blessings God has poured into your life today!

The birdies in the treetops sing their song
The angels chant their chorus all day long
The flowers in the garden lend their hue
So why shouldn’t I, why shouldn’t you, praise Him too!

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