January 2007 - Volume 11, Issue 6

For Everyone Give Thanks

By Janice Alonso

Photo of a bird sitting on a pine tree branchSitting outside on an early morning in Silverthorne, Colorado, I sip my coffee and feel the cool breeze brush my cheeks. The sun has barely risen, yet light creeps over the mountains and whispers its wake up call to the creatures of the sky. I am enraptured by the birds' activities, most of it centered on their daily search for food. They chirp, flitter, caw, and swoop as they begin their hunt.

Several starlings dart and sweep from bush to bush. They group, separate, and then regroup and fly to an eave, their heads cocking and assessing their surroundings. Two glide effortlessly to a nearby small Blue Spruce, a new planting with tender green sprouts. They balance like high wire walkers atop a branch, and then nip at bits of bark and tips of needles. Others of their flock have chosen to forage in the dewy grass. They hop along like peg-legged pirates, poking and prodding between the wet blades until one tips back his head, his beak skyward, and displays his triumphant treasure: a wiggly worm. From the rooftop of the house next door, a glossy black crow caws and flaps, alighting on a patch of grass adjacent to the victor. The starling complains, his beak clamped tight, and takes refuge in a nearby tree.

Close to me, on the edge of the patio, two ruby-throated hummingbirds spar midair, vying for territorial domain of a feeder filled with sugar-water that hangs nestled among vibrant violet petunias and shocking saffron-colored daisies. I can hear the beating of their tiny wings as they move so quickly it is impossible to identify anything except a blurry motion.

Photo of flying geeseBut it is the honking of geese flying overhead that captures my thoughts this a.m. They soar, necks outstretched and wings tucked at their sides, and slice through the morning air like sleek aerodynamic flight machines created by the highest technology available at NASA. The geese travel in "V" formation, with gaps in their pattern. I've been told these birds leave the spaces for those no longer with them. I don't know if this is fact or myth. I like to believe it is the truth.

I believe that like the geese, God has given me the direction and the strength to take me through my life's journey. While I may be at the point of the "V," He has blessed me with what I need to lift me to the heights I've been able to reach. I also believe He has provided me with a battalion of earthly co-travelers to accompany me. My husband, children, mother, family members, and friends sojourn with me and provide me the support and comfort I need to keep aloft.

There are spaces in my "V" left by people whom I loved and who loved me in return. Two grandmothers supplied the creativity, and a grandfather made me feel like I was the most precious child ever born. An aunt praised my every success, and a cousin shared the joy of childbirth and the fear of becoming a mother. Also missing are friends who were called before their time, our friendship here on earth cut too short; then there were those who lived too long while I watched their sufferings linger.

God breathed life into me, gave me His blessing, and then lifted me to fly on my own. He is my Eternal Guiding Light and my earthly angels are my support and balance. It is a tenuous position, this point of the "V." Sometimes I soar higher; other times I am barely able to move my wings to remain airborne and steady in my journey. I know not how many miles I have to go or how many unplanned stops and detours I will encounter. This I do know. With my eyes on my Heavenly Father and my earthly angels pushing me onward, I will go the distance for what God has planned for me.