“Treetops” Phone Photo DS
A seagull’s cry delighted me as I exited the grocery store. Perhaps it had found some food too. I felt a surge of gratitude that prefixed a breath of the wet winter soft air. It set me on a reverie of other shopping times from years past: as a mother with crying children, as a worker with a broken foot, as a painter prepping for an art show reception.
I had been feeling down, tired, overwhelmed with thoughts about:
A health blip
A new normal in my relationship
A family conflict
An empty gas tank
A paper-stacked dining table
What little things can change our moods. Just an hour ago, praying with friends, I was looking forward to my next workshop, my upcoming art show.
I can leave getting gas until tomorrow, I thought, caring for self as advised. I was hungry, had bags to carry, food to put away and an afternoon ahead of paperwork. In front of the Rav IV windshield sharp pinecones dropped on the debris messed road from windy trees high above.
Home again a newspaper was retrieved with a climb. My face was enlivened by the mild air. I stopped and breathed again. I remembered who I was and the collaged life I had been given. Suddenly the half empty glass of my soul was filling up again. I have always loved seagulls since my childhood summers spent in a caravan at the Scottish seaside.
“St. Stephen’s Yellow Window” iPad Photo DS 2015
The church was set for Jazz Vespers – something that is not my tradition but a friend’s daughter was to sing this evening. I parked a block away and walked a little as is my way wherever I go. I arrived a bit early and took a good seat in the wooden pews.
My first act could have been prayer but it was to photograph the stunning squares of the three stained glass windows – tiny pieces of predominantly yellow with orange blue, red with yellow, pink and violet, and blue green with all of the colours geometrically offered. Hanging lamps were reminiscent of the Mackintosh Church in Glasgow.
A pillow was offered to me. I refused the comfort. I do not know why – just not my habit, I surmise. I saw the backs of several people I knew. Then she sang – loud, clear, pure and to my great surprise – she was joined by seagulls.
The seagull song lingered, swelled and receded a couple of times. I looked to the windows to see if they were real or piped in by some CD accompaniment. Everyone seemed to take the competing song in stride with no looks of humour or smiles of knowing.
But for me, I was amazed. I was struck with awe. I left quietly, rising inside was a swell of: “I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free…”. I know I am cared for. I am free. Even seagulls praise their Maker.
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land… (Song of Solomon)