Our feathered friends are still singing!
Today, their melodious songs are unmistakably loud—and persistently cheerful, just like any other day. Two of our resident squirrels pause for a moment to tease the nesting mockingbirds but quickly return to stealing nuts and seeds from the swinging feeders. We strategically placed the feeders out of reach of the squirrels, but the furry rascals manage to find a way in! Annoying the birds has become the playful critters’ daily ritual in and around the magnolia and crepe myrtle trees. As I glance up at the majestic magnolia, I note dozens of bulging buds, announcing their readiness to burst into flower. Of course! It’s almost May—the month the magnolias bloom every year.
Meanwhile, bees are buzzing around garlands of fragrant white flowers all along the hedge on the western border. Unlike the greedy squirrels who delight in chasing the birds away, the bees are more than happy to share juicy nectar with a multitude of butterflies, just like they always do in April. From my shady vantage point, I’m captivated by hundreds of creepy crawlers and flying insects, all bustling hither and thither as they pursue their normal activities—content in their familiar little world.
In the garden, it’s life as usual.
Amid this ever-changing confusion of the Covid-19 pandemic, I find comfort in the garden. All God’s creatures are busy doing what their Creator intended—oblivious to the plight of humanity. Life remains unchanged for them. Each species compelled to fulfill its destiny as it has since the beginning of time. Guided by instinct, all creatures know precisely what to do and when to do it. Constancy is beautiful—and reassuring.
I wonder what you’re thinking and feeling today. How are you dealing with life during Covid-19? How are you handling the lengthy stay-at-home restrictions and the myriad of repercussions to you and your family? Are you grieving for the tragic loss of life in the world? Are you anxious about having enough income to support your family? Do you struggle with a lack of physical touch? Are your emotions up and down and all around? Are you concerned about the presence of so much hate swirling around? Do you yearn to hug your loved ones? Are you fearful about the future? Do you wonder when all this will end?
I think most of us have similar questions and concerns as we project into the future and ponder what life will look like as country by country the world struggles to return to “normal.” There’s no question humanity will get through this pandemic, but what will each of us take away from this experience to apply to our life in the future? How about you? Do you want life to be the same as it was before the pandemic, or have you discovered your priorities are shifting? Will you reassess and make changes?
Like everyone else, I’ve had plenty of time to think and to search my soul. My thoughts strayed back to December 2018, when I wrote a post entitled Reflecting and Projecting, in which I express the importance of resilience in an ever-changing world.
You see, experience teaches me that we can plan to the last little detail, but in this life, there are no guarantees that what we anticipate will materialize. Unforeseen circumstances often interrupt the best of intentions. If we are mentally unprepared, or unwilling to accept the unexpected darts, arrows, and diversions thrown our way, life can knock us to our knees. Sooner or later, we learn that although we have free will to choose and decide, we do not have complete control.
Whenever I feel confused or bewildered about things I cannot control, I sit in my garden, or I immerse myself in God’s earthly garden in nearby nature. It’s there amid His magnificent creations that I feel His love and assurance. Circumstances may be out of my control, but the Creator of the universe is in control of all things. I may not understand His plan, but He does, and that’s what matters. I may feel confused at the chaos in the world right now, but I am comforted that a God who cares for His beloved humanity has everything under control. Beautiful things will emerge from our current circumstances. I am so grateful—I feel so blessed.
As I look at my surroundings, I see three squirrels frolicking under the magnolia tree. The bees and butterflies are swarming all over the hedge, flowers are blooming, and the grass lawns are a lush green. The birds are still singing joyful songs to their Creator. All is as it should be.
In the garden, there is a sense of order and wonder. All will be well.
Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.
—Jeremiah 32:17 (ESV)