Thursday, January 2, 2014


I'm still out there looking for beauty. I think I've found it for the day, that one beautiful thing, and - wham!  - there is more, always something more.

On Monday, Mike and Nick played laser tag with our sleepover boys. It was a good sleepover, a really good sleepover. It was so good that it was hard to get the boys up for laser tag the next morning. For the first time, I didn't tell them when to go to sleep. I just told them to be quiet enough not to bother Mike and I. It was so fun. Nick said they fell asleep at around midnight.

So, after we got to the park, boys and men packed into one car and Teddy and I in another, I looked for the trail to walk with Teddy. The Snoqualmie Valley Trail was a sweet block away. I was in search of dog friends for Teddy. And I found them, a Bernese mountain dog in the Frisbee park. And a Benji dog right afterward. Are you old enough to remember the movie 'Benji'? It was a sweet movie and that ratty little dog was so endearing. This one was just as sweet.

It was so good between Benji and Teddy that both of us humans decided to walk together. We talked dogs, kids, the philosophy of caring for our country's veterans. Oh, we were solving problems when I sadly told this woman that I needed to turn around to meet my laser tag guys. I had hopes of being take out to lunch. I loved when this woman turned around with me and we continued solving our country's problems.

"What is that bird?" she asked, pointing.

"Where?" I asked.

"That big one, there on the left, the big thing." And then I saw it, the size of a heron or an eagle. We kept walking, coming near to where our raised trail came level with the tree in which this bird perched.

We could see into its eyes. It was an eagle, a young bald eagle who still had brown dots in his white head feathers. It turned its head a little.

There's a certain way that a young bird moves its head, even a magnificent predator like this one, that makes it look a little dorky and sweet. Our bald eagle moved its head again as we talked. It didn't seem disturbed by our conversation. It looked comfortable in its perch as if it had been sitting there by the river in that tree its whole short life. A baby robin sat on my back deck for nearly a month that way a couple of summers ago. I could look at it freely without it flying away. This bald eagle had that same look, a little bewildered but confident in its size and with a sense of claiming its home. I'd like to go there tomorrow to see if the eagle is still standing in the same position, just watching the people on the trail and the fish in the river.

I was awed enough that I forgot to take a picture with my trusty iPhone. Really, this eagle was only about fifteen feet away. It was incredible.

So, in my head, I put this down into my mind as the moment of beauty I'd been looking for that day. What a gift, huh?

And then, we walked back and I turned into the park to meet my guys. It turned out that they'd decided to head home without me and I sat in my car by the side of the road sending a text to one of the boys' moms. The kids wanted to play a little longer. As I sat, I looked across the street to where a small girl pulled two smaller girls in a wagon. They stopped in front of a tiny manger scene, these girls, each in pink coats, the red wagon, and Mary, Joseph and Jesus all in pale blue. It took my breath away when the biggest girl put her arm around one of the smaller ones.


And I was given two views in just one day. Some days, there is abundance.

Thank you for listening, jb

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