Our gate closed behind us, tires crunching on our gravel road, the sunrise piercing through the trees, as we bumped down our calle (street) on the 7 minute early morning ride to school. A cowbird took flight as all the Bessie's (the 4 cows on the corner pasture we call by that name) moved their mouths like long distance runners on a track.
What was most remarkable about this moment would be discovered a little later, but just a little after 7 a.m., the sunrise, in all of its glory, was compelling me to fling my phone out the open window to document the day's first light. I'm always amazed by the Lord's glory reflected in nature, an observance that both of my parents taught me: to quietly enjoy the beauty of nature, to still my heart, and to look for the radiant handy work of the ULTIMATE creator. As a young girl and even a teenager, my parents and I would sit out on the back porch, often in silence, and just watch the birds. The three of us. My dad despised sparrows (they were gluttons with the bird seed). Loved crows (so smart and communicative). Adored chick-a-dees (they're so polite.) Even before I knew the Lord, my parents were teaching me to look for Him outside.
The morning of March 15 wasn't just another beautiful sunrise to be left hidden on my camera roll. Its significance came into focus later that day when I learned more specifically the time that my dad was ushered into heaven, the rays of sunshine like escalators rising to the throne of God, around 7 a.m., and the billowy clouds now his pillow.
The cowbird was in flight, and my dad was gone from earth. His last breath here led to his next breath in heaven, which has to be far more full of splendor than the little glimpse I caught this morning. I was obliviously on my way to the new day, doing what he taught me to do, breathe in the creation! And then he was gone, died but NOT dead, thanks be to God! When I look for the beautiful light, the interesting juxtaposition of sharp rebar reaching towards the soft sky, a bird taking flight, the weeds catching dewy, dreamy beams of light, he will be with me.