Look at How Each Day Brings a Miracle

storm damaged tree in February
This storm-damaged tree fallen in the snow makes me think of a bridge.

“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.” -Paulo Coelho

I look out the window and  I can see the white feathery snow. I can see the way the light slants on it and highlights a certain patch. The snowflakes blow everywhere–huge flakes, swirling together. I see them first coming together as gracefully as ballroom dancers, then as a sudden gust of wind comes up, they are bouncing and colliding like drunken soldiers in barroom brawl. For a moment, the wind does nothing and the snow simply falls. Then the wind, the rushing wind from the over the bank pulls the snow in another configuration and my mind is there creating another scenario.

I can see! 

Since I’ve read this quote, I purposely look for new beautiful aspects of my day, even if it’s only for a few minutes.  I’m physically losing my vision but I challenge myself to choose something about this one day that is different and to find what miracle it brings with it.

What a privilege! 

Losing my sister definitely made me more aware of God’s grace and the beauty that comes to me. I don’t want to waste moments that I can savor.

After my sister was diagnosed with her leukemia but about a year before she became housebound, she decided to take her daughter and four of my great nieces on a picnic at the park below the house. She packed a simple lunch, took a blanket, gathered the girls in the car and picked up Mom and me.

I don’t remember what month it was but it was chilly in the shade, sometime in the early spring. I remember the girls taking off their shoes and standing at the edge of the shallow water and skipping rocks.  My mother stood with here cane to one side and watched. My sister was pointing out some minnows to the girls. I could see them squat down and peer into the water. The sun became so warm at that time, I grew sleepy and lay down on the rocks near the water and closed my eyes surrounded by their laughter, their occasional shrieks, and their voices.

After awhile, the girls grew hungry. They ran ahead with Ga-ga while my niece, Emily,  helped Grandma  back up the uneven path. I quietly followed behind them, reaching out to nearby branches to steady me since I was without my cane.

We made our way to  a small area where my niece and sister had spread a large blanket.  What I remember most about that meal was the pint-sized glasses  of oatmeal dotted with blueberries that my sister prepared for the girls to eat. They ate it like it was the sweetest divinity, spoons clanking against the glass to get every oatmeal flake. Then, my sister doled out granola bars with fig or some healthy ingredients. The water they drank was purified. It came from a special, very expensive filter my sister’s friends had. They brought her all the water she drank. I remember thinking how she followed through with all of her beliefs on living well no matter what was happening to her personally.

I knew my sister was purposely creating memories and I feel so privileged that she included Mom and I on that particular outing. 

Thinking about how she wanted to do that for everyone nearly makes me cry.

But I don’t let it.

Instead, it makes me more determined to find ways to cherish my life and my vision while I have it,  and to include others in my day. To purposely think of others.

To create new memories.

To cherish family.

So late last week, I gathered up some inexpensive gifts for my great nieces and nephew–a brightly-colored toy truck, some coloring pages, two frogs with arms that hug, a tiny princess tambourine, a little activity book and some peanut butter cookies for each family.  Like I said, just small things.

My niece made time to visit this evening. She bundled up the kids in their winter coats and boots over their flannel pjs and maneuvered her way over snow-packed, slippery roads, with snowbanks on either side over two feet high. I had said I had a surprise for her family, and she said she’d come.

When she stuck her head through the back door, her smile lit up the room. The laughter as she helped the girls remove hats, mittens, heavy coats and boots filled the kitchen.

The girls opening their gifts: Gia hid from me.
Opening their gifts. Gia was hiding (wouldn’t look!)

As they settled in the living room, Gia, just over a year,  turned bashful at the sound of my voice.  Rachel laughed and said. “Gia said your name the other day. Don’t let her fool you. She knows who you are.”

Grandma said, “I have trouble remembering her name.”

Rachel recited a rhyme that Talia, her oldest, had made up when Gia was a baby to help people remember it.

“I said that? I don’t remember that!” Talia said, wrinkling her nose.

After they tore open their presents, the two older girls ran up to my apartment and guess what?  Fiona, the middle child and huge animal lover that she was, spied my cat and made a beeline for her. In a flash, the cat fled from where she was sleeping to hide under my computer desk with Fiona right behind her. “Aunt Amy, tell her to come out! Pleeeez! Kitty, kitty, kitty, c’mere!”

I watched while they tried without success to coax Midnight out of hiding.

Later she said, “I never saw a cat like that color.”

“What color is that?” I asked.

“All black!” Fiona had, by then, taken to breaking off bits of Club crackers to see if that would lure Midnight out.

The tooth fairy brought Talia two quarters!
The tooth fairy brought Talia two quarters!

Seven-year-old Talia saw something new by my door. “Is that a litter box? I saw a kind of cake that looks like a litter box!” She giggled.

“Did you eat any of it?”

“Noooo. Yuk! I didn’t want that.” She grinned and I noticed she was missing a tooth. The tooth fairy had left her two quarters, she said.

Before they left, all three, including the baby, were peering under the desk.

“Say, ‘bye-bye, kitty.'” I urged Gia, who didn’t seem keen to leave the cat. She stood by the desk all by herself watching for the kitty to come out. Hoping. But Midnight wasn’t ready.

I thought about how she’d hid earlier. Don’t we all do that when we aren’t used to something? None of us are that different from Gia or Midnight.

But sooner or later, we will all cross a bridge and have to come to terms with the unfamiliar. In my family’s case, it was with my sister’s passing.

Wow, God. Thank you for that insight. You made it so clear to me tonight. Thank You for helping me be sensitive to Your voice.  

Today I was not blind. God tapped my shoulder and showed me how blessed I was. He gave me a room with a view. He gave me a memory to warm myself in the cold of my grief. He gave me a family who needs me. He gave me a cat that entertains even when she hides.

Sometimes it’s easy to feel the sameness of winter. Snow falls and falls and falls where I live in northwest Pennsylvania. We get the Lake effect snow.

But even the snow brings miracles.

It brings love and family to my door.

I challenge you.

Choose not to be blind to the unique aspects of your day. Choose to record what you think is special. Create memories with those you care about. Reach out to others, whoever they are. If you’re hurting, maybe they are, too.

Don’t let each day become a blur. Blow on it. Let the snow clear and the miracle emerge.

What special memory brings a bit of winter warmth to you today? Can you think of someone to include in a new memory?

Fiona with her two froggies
Fiona with her two froggies

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You have just read, “Look at How Each Day Brings a Miracle,” by Amy L. Bovaird, Copyright, February 4, 2015. If you enjoyed this post, LIKE it and leave a comment. Share it with your friends.

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10 thoughts on “Look at How Each Day Brings a Miracle

  • February 5, 2015 at 5:06 am
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    You are so amazing Amy, so inspirational! Considering your situation, you still manage to look optimistically in an exuberant manner at life. 🙂 BTW, your nieces are cute! 😉 I have too much to keep me busy that I don’t get the winter blahs or blues. 😉 <3

  • February 5, 2015 at 5:35 am
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    Awesome reminder to treasure each moment and every day that we have been given, Amy. We take so much for granted, including tomorrow. Way too often I am like Midnight. Retreating to the nearest place with the most obstacles so that no one can reach me through all the clutter I’ve surrounded myself with. It’s something I need to continue praying about and then take steps to move out of.

  • February 5, 2015 at 5:46 am
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    Thanks, Elly. You are very busy!
    It was funny how that message came together. Writing is so cathartic.
    When you stop by, it’s like a visit all in itself. All we need is some chai! I am sure that we have so much in common that we’d end up sitting for hours chatting. Then we’d look at our watches and you’d race home! 🙂
    Amy

  • February 7, 2015 at 9:10 pm
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    Hi Carrie,
    It is really hard to treasure each moment but so rich when we do! What I’m learning from my sister’s life is to become purposeful and create moments and go with them. Kind of like what you did with your class in teaching them about figurative language through student coaches. You created the environment that allowed for those “a-ha!” moments to be born. Great feeling, huh? Whether it’s with your students, friends or family, it’s all in the attitude that we approach it with. 🙂
    Amy

  • February 8, 2015 at 7:12 am
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    Creating memories is a very special thing and it’s amazing what children remember a long time past. You can’t do that without savouring the moment. A great legacy left by your sister and carried forward. Beautifully done.

  • February 8, 2015 at 4:20 pm
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    Yes, creating memories IS a special thing, Mel.
    I am going to write that on top of my computer and tape it to my computer so that I remember to take time AWAY from the computer to do! I hope you are right and the kids do remember! Thank you for taking time to read and comment on my blog.
    Amy

  • February 10, 2015 at 11:56 pm
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    Hi Amy!
    A special memory that brings warmth to my heart is a memory from last summer when me and my mother went for an evening swim at the lake while the sun was setting. It was such a glorious experience being in the lake and watching the sky light up in oranges, pinks and yellows. Makes my heart expand just thinking about it.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories!

  • February 11, 2015 at 8:13 pm
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    So happy to hear that, Emma!
    Sharing experiences like that with someone else (your mother) create special bonds.
    It sounds like it was, as you said, glorious!
    Thank you for your comment and please come back to my blog!
    Amy

  • February 11, 2015 at 9:59 pm
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    Hi Amy,

    You have such a nice family. I could sense the love you all have for each other as I read. I really like what you wrote here: “But sooner or later, we will all cross a bridge and have to come to terms with the unfamiliar.” I think making new memories are necessary to help get us safely across that bridge.

    Take Care,

    Matt

  • February 11, 2015 at 11:03 pm
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    Hi Matt,
    Yes, you are right. I think so too. It has to be purposeful even when it feels uncomfortable, at least at the start. 🙂
    Amy

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