Everyday Miracles

I was meditating on the front porch
in the half-light of dawn
when I saw movement,
which was two bucks coming toward me
on the embankment above the house.
They stopped and stretched out their necks
to the east and blew as if slightly alarmed
but uncertain as to why.
Then a marten hurried westward
at the bottom of the embankment
and as soon as it was by
the deer relaxed.
I had never before seen a marten.

A relative gave us a pot of amaryllis
for Christmas:
three dry old bulbs in potting soil.
Dubious, we watered them,
and within a few days
the green tips of leaves were emerging.
Now they are two feet tall and stately,
and juicy stalks that clearly contain flowers
are also growing toward the light.
Soon they will open
to reveal showy scarlet lilies.

The morning after a hard rain
I was in my customary place on the porch
when a shaft of sunlight
pierced the forest canopy
and landed on a little Japanese maple,
which lit up, as every raindrop
on every bare branch and twig
suddenly blazed with reflected light.
Then as if that weren’t enough
a family of birds—
I couldn’t see what kind—
landed in a nearby cedar and
sent forth a glorious fountain
of beautiful song.
My heart stopped,
just for a moment,
and when it started again
my face was full of tears.

These are everyday miracles,
just the kind of thing
that happens all the time—
but how intricate!
How marvelous!
So many different kinds of beings,
each with its own beauty,
each with its own gifts,
each with its own power to dazzle,
all interwoven in the same web of life.

May our response to these miracles
be reverence
and gratitude
and love
and may we therefore
act accordingly.

“We are caught
in an inescapable network of mutuality,

tied in a single garment of destiny. 
Injustice anywhere
is a threat to justice everywhere.” 

—Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.