The official New Year was days ago, I know, but it didn’t really feel like I had turned the page until this morning. Monday morning: a new list for the week, facing forward after the weekend, time to take stock. First, look out the window and notice that it has stopped raining! We’re in the middle of one of those weather “rivers” that pours water out of the sky and feels like a permanent geographical fixture; you can’t imagine how it will ever stop. But somehow the sky is less pulled down on the treetops and roofs and there is a visible smudge of light in the sky that must be the sun. No time to hesitate! Go outside!
Looking up, the first thing I see is an eagle slowly passing over the neighborhood, barely tipping its wings and intent on surveying the possibilities. And in the same frame of vision, I see a vivid-pink flash of a hummingbird. The definition of “bird” stretches almost to breaking point to encompass these two! Besides the cessation of rain, I am counting this twin sighting as my #1 Wonder of the Day.
And instantly know that instead of New Year’s resolutions—you know, lose those extra pounds, be more organized, and clean out a few drawers—I’m going to collect Wonders; make that a minimum of three a day. It’s a wake-up call from winter hibernation or Covid-induced fog. I feel better already.
There are several ways to discover Wonders. Some present themselves like the eagle and hummingbird. For my next Wonder I only had to follow my nose. We have a bush in our side yard that blooms in winter; if anyone can identify it, please do. It has the freshest sweet-but-not-too-sweet scent from tiny white flowers that just gladdens my heart on these dark days. I stand in front of it and breathe in the scent and feel that spring cannot be lost no matter what the date. I have Wonder #2.
And I have a theme: What other signs of early spring can I find? Soggy brown leaves litter the ground and bits of fallen branches from the windstorm nearly hide my next find. There is a tiny, slightly battered, but bravely pushing upward primrose whose pink catches me eye. It’s very modest but not at all prosaic. I’m counting it as #3 for the lift it gives my mood.
I see green shoots pushing up here and there, probably the bluebells that will take over my garden later, but perhaps because they are so prolific they don’t quite feel like a bona fide Wonder to me today. Ah, but what’s this? Again a pink color draws me to peer more carefully in the clutter of last-year’s leaves. This seems incredibly early, but some of my strawberry plants are in flower! Very pink, indeed. Spring is more than a wish; it feels like a promise kept. Strawberry plants blooming in January is a Wonder, a bonus, #4. Everything is going to be okay.