Monday, May 18, 2009

Weird, wild suburban visitor

It was late morning, and the boy and I were out front. I was pulling weeds (my least favorite yet most common outdoor activity), and the kiddo was drawing race tracks and driveways on the sidewalk with his chunky chalk. It was quiet, which is rather unusual since my son is a bit of a chatty guy, and we were both focused on our work in the chilly sunshine.

I saw something from the corner of my eye, and glanced up at Marcus—only to catch my breath. Directly behind my little boy, not more than four feet away, a behemoth wild tom turkey was strolling along. Marcus, who was completely oblivious, looked up and saw me staring with intent interest at him; before he could ask me why, I instructed him quietly, “Turn around and look behind you, slowly.” He did as he was told, without a word, and the giant bird was so close to him that a single step forward would have allowed him to reach out and touch its shimmery-dull brown feathers.

His head swiveled back around, still slowly (good listening!), and the expression on his sweet face was absolutely priceless. He didn’t burst into tears, or holler, or say a word, but his eyes were huge and I could tell he was pretty uncomfortable with the proximity of that ridiculous creature as it strutted past, waddle bobbing with each step. “It’s a wild turkey, honey—isn’t it big?” I said softly. He nodded, and turned to look at it once again.

The tom had continued on his way, and was stepping out onto the road to cross it. He never looked at us, never wavered from his path in any way, simply trod across the street and up into the neighbor’s back yard, out of sight. It was rather surreal. I thought about creeping over to the neighbor’s to try taking a photograph, but even if I were successful (highly unlikely, considering my history), it seemed anticlimactic somehow; I’d missed capturing the best picture of all, that being the enormous creature right behind—and standing nearly as tall as—my astonished son.

And just a few hours later that same day? Our first hummingbird of the year showed up at the feeder. I pointed him out to Marcus, and we watched the tiny miracle zipping away toward the tallest tree. I said to him, “Can you believe that little hummer and that huge turkey are both birds? How can that be?”

His answer was simple, yet profound in its honesty: “I do not know.”

Neither do I, my boy. Neither do I. But I do know that the more I see, the more certain I am that none of it is accidental. What an amazing Creator is obvious in everything around us.

Go out and be awed today. (You can be odd, too, if you’d like. I highly recommend both.)

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