A stellar jay lands on a chair on my deck. I stop chopping tomatoes and watch as he hops from the chair to the railing and back again. They he takes flight, and I lose sight of him through the morning glory growing on the lattice.
He is the first of his kind I’ve seen up close this year. A month ago, when the smoke was thickest, I’d step outside with the dogs into eerie silence. No birds. No nothing. Just suffocating smoke. Now, at random moments in the day, I step out onto the deck or the lower patio and watch an assortment of birds flit from tree to tree and dance glorious and free minuets in the sky.
Things pass. Seasons change. We learn to be grateful for the simplest of things. And all those days in which I prayed for just enough grace/peace/energy for the next twenty-four hours, culminate in a moment where I stand in the kitchen, put down my knife, and watch a blue stellar jay deliver joy.