It seems with the arrival of March spring is truly on its way. The winters here are mild compared to many places in our country or around the world, but it has been a rainy, dreary, and cold season this year and just like everyone we are so glad to see spring make an appearance.
We headed out after church on Sunday for a little bird-watching-flower-appreciating outdoor fun. I just knew I was going to get pooped on (**it happens to me. Often.) but not a single bird targeted me that day. So even I had a good time walking the block and capturing the signs of spring, with the camera or just in my mind.
Mike had the camera at first. He likes to call it my camera (as in Christina's), but the truth is he knows more about photography than I do...he actually studied some about it when he was younger.
By the way, does this surprise anyone? I thought not. He studies. I pick up a new anything and expect it to come naturally, automatically. We have recently coined the phrase spontaneous education. Wouldn't that be nice?
Back to real life...
He came upon a little bird that took notice of his lens; he shook out his tail feathers (the bird, not Mike) and strutted around the yard like a little supermodel. I think I actually heard him say,"I'm too sexy for my breast, too sexy for my breast, so sexy I'm the best," at least once.
This little red-chested bird was posing for the camera, make no mistake.
We went on our way after the photo shoot and took a few minutes to look closely at all of the things that have been changing around our neighborhood.
The trees have burst forth with gorgeous clusters of tiny white flowers that float down every now and then, covering the ground just as they cover the branches above.
There are daffodils shining brightly just about everywhere you look.
As the daffodils radiate their glory, so the faces around me radiate the joy that comes from being in the sunshine on a day that has not a cloud in the sky.
We find the busyness of planting flowers as the sun warms one's back (or relocating flowers, as the case may be...)
There are of course the birds of a feather that flock together...
This guy kind of looks like he's in charge, don't you think?
And we even saw a bird that seemed to have an injury...a bright red spot on his wing that we surmised might be blood.
We so enjoyed being outside, and being together.
I hope that those who are reading this can hear my voice, and that it sounds genuine. I mean all of it. There is something to be said for spending time with people who are joyful. It brings to mind the passage from John, where Jesus is talking to his disciples and he encourages them to remain in him; he goes on to say,"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." I feel like when I am around my joyful family their joy rubs off on me and then my own gladness completes their joy, as well as that of my heavenly Father (or brother, however you want to say it). Joy, joy, joyful, joyous, joy. Can I use the word one more time?!
Watching Michaela delight in taking a picture of a bird in a tree...
or the sky through the branches...
These things bring me joy. (Oh, look, I can use the word one more time!)
I love that Michaela took pictures and got her own shadow as well...
and I love seeing her own appreciation of the daffodils...
I love Christian's exuberance...
and Eliana's love for her daddy. (It's mutual.)
I find that in spite of how I have been feeling recently, I am smiling. How sweet that is. How sweet they are.