This morning I went for an early morning walk. This young red-tailed hawk was perched in a tree beside the road, and it was easy to spot. The morning sun struck its white breast and it seemed like it was emanating light.
Actually, it was sharing a few moments with a sibling, as I saw when I got a little closer.
Neither has a red tail yet; that won’t come till their first molt. But they both appear healthy, learning to shift for themselves in this first autumn on their own.
It’s always exciting to me to see these regal birds, and there was nothing on my walk that really compared. Just the usual suspects — chickadees and nuthatches, titmice, crackling leaves and squirrels, deer crashing away with a flash of white tail.
But as always it was an internally productive way to start the day. As I walked, praying periodically about this or that as things came to mind, I got to thinking about the hawks again.
Last fall, I dreamed of getting a photograph of a hawk in a tree. The sight of a perching hawk on a bare branch seemed a symbol of wildness to me, a glimpse of rugged but elusive beauty. I thought it was impossible for me ever to capture in a photo.
As it turns out, I’ve gotten all kinds of hawk pictures over the last year, some in trees, some in flight — some, even, on our swingset and bird feeder. It began with a seed of desire, and then the opportunities came.
Same with photography. I replaced our old point-and-shoot with a better one that had a zoom lens, and I began to notice nature. The more I noticed, the more I wished I could take better pictures.
Then, at Christmas, my husband surprised me with a completely extravagant, completely unexpected thing: a digital camera. A year earlier, it would have been meaningless to me. But it had started with a seed of desire, and then, there it was.
I have other desires, yet to come to fruition. In unexpected ways over the last year, my thinking has been both clarified and enlarged about God’s purposes for our family, and for me. What form they will take remains unclear, but it gave the morning a shaft of color and possibility to recognize a few of the good fruits of past desires.
I believe God prepares the ground before sending blessings. And though uncertainty characterizes the season of planting, and even of watering, it doesn’t last forever. Sooner or later, the first fruits are produced.
All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
whose plan is wonderful,
whose wisdom is magnificent.