Our bikes skid down a narrow gravel path as we approach the newly re-landscaped green space. I never understood why they dug it up to begin with - we loved it just the way it was, all wild and natural. Rocks dropped everywhere, toads and fish under every surface.
Then the destruction came. For months it was a massive pile of mud and rocks. What was once a gloriously green wetland brimming with wildlife had been reduced to a dry, lifeless mound. When I saw what workers and diggers and bulldozers had done to our precious space, I wanted to cry. It was as if they were destroying my backyard - this gift is withing a moment's walk from our home and we cherished it.
What WAS this:
Had become this:
It was hard to see what would become of such a mess.
The above photo was taken a few weeks ago. The machines were now gone, and a hawk circled overhead, her cry ear piercing. My heart was broken to witness what was left of the project. The free running water had been completely redirected. It looked nothing like we knew. Like we loved.
Patience. Sometimes it is so hard to see what will come. To see past the dry dirt. The dry days. The unknown.
Slowly, as if God is blowing his very life-breath into that parched ground, our favorite place is coming alive again. I'm starting to see what is to come. And this week, I even uttered the words, "I think it might actually be even better this way..."
Ah... the deeper truth to this realization.
And I know - rebirth is a gradual process. In most areas, the grass is still fine and delicate. The bushes planted are not much more than thorny sticks poking two feet out of the ground. So we anticipate what we are yet to see. What will bloom over the next months will be teaming with the miracle of God's amazing natural world.
In the middle of all this waiting, my eyes wander to the small pond in the middle of what should be a field. Two weeks ago it was loaded with squirming tadpoles. Thousands of tadpoles. As I move towards the brown water, I notice something odd.
Bouncing. Little brown things bouncing everywhere. Bugs?
"What is that...?" I whisper as I crouch lower and realize it.
A miracle has taken place in this dried-up, dug-up place.
"Oh my goodness! Guys!!! Kids! Little toads! Little toads! They're everywhere!"
I sound like a child in my giddy excitement and our three come running, shouting and screaming with sheer bliss. We carefully get low and witness it closely - the Creator's design. The tadpoles had become the tiniest, sweetest little amphibians you could ever imagine.
I see. I see that miracles happen in the dry places. In the still-growing places. In the messed-up places. Even here, where we still anticipate what will be, there is unthinkable joy in the very, very small.
Beauty is all around us, if we only open our eyes to see.
(Five Minute Friday)