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From Jacksonville Beach, FL

Sunday, April 24, 2011


      This beautiful, Easter morning, I get up early to have my coffee on our new patio.  The patio faces a retention pond, but to us it is a little lake.  With my black cat jumping at bugs in the yard and the yellow cat sitting on the patio next to my chair, I watch the early morning show.
      The water is mirror smooth.  The trees and houses around its edge are clear reflections. First, a duck comes skidding across the water on both feet.  He plumps himself down and swims serenely to the willow tree at the edge of our yard.  An anhinga disturbed at the noise pops up from the middle of the pond with only his snake-like neck above the water.  The anhinga is a strange bird.  He literally swims underwater.  This one, catches a fish which he swallows whole.  His feathers do not shed water like other water birds and he must sit on the bank with his wings outspread to dry.  After about ten minutes, he shakes his wings and flies off.  As I watch him in that process this morning, I wonder what it must be like to fly through the air, walk on the land and swim underwater.  All environments are his domain.
       Under the willow tree, A great blue heron stalks near the waters edge, stopping to seriously search for fish that might swim by.  He can stand as still as a statue as he scans the water.  My cat in crouch position makes a run at him not caring that he is about ten times her size.  As he flies away, his great wing span gives him a grace you wouldn't suspect when his wings are folded away.  
     As beautiful as the morning is, noone else in the neighborhood is out.  The children haven't yet started their Easter egg hunts.  I hear only the early morning birds, mostly cardinals and mockingbirds busily singing and fluttering in the trees.  A line from my past resurrects in my brain: "Be still and know that I am God." 

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