I’m sitting in the warm early morning sunshine snuggled in between deep pink weigela blossoms and the blue myrtle that lines my cottage in the wine and horse country of northern Virginia. There is still a chill in the air when the breeze tops the bushes, but my back is taking the full sun, so I am cozy. My cottage sits on a hillside overlooking part of the vineyard. There are few sounds except for the birdsong and the bumblebees exploring the periwinkle blossoms by my side. I am here for my goddaughter’s wedding, but I sense the Lord knew I needed some time to soak in His presence and be still.
When you take time to sit, listen and absorb your surroundings, you regain a finer appreciation for the small creatures that make up our world that are so often overlooked in our daily routine. I am grateful for this lovely place to settle in and blend into the surrounding beauty. In the distance, I have heard a crow calling to his friends, a red-shouldered hawk looking for his breakfast, and the song sparrow who sings to me as he proudly sits on top of the bird feeder. This morning the wren serenaded me, and later I watched the bluebird scale the ten-foot fence to soar on brilliant indigo wings into the vineyard itself.
The bumblebee by my side is looking for nectar. He doesn’t seem interested in the bed of iris, but is having the time of his life among the periwinkle blue blossoms of the myrtle that covers much of the ground under the bushes. In the quiet, I note that the bee only buzzes while flying, as if he is humming a song to himself. He becomes silent as he scrabbles around, gathering the golden nectar, his legs already laden with pollen. A ladybug lands on the spirea bush beside me and climbs down one of the larger leaves. I guess he has a taste for aphids as they are having a field day devouring the tips of the branches. The spirea leaves are still shiny and new even with their coating of tree pollen.
Two chestnut horses are running in the pasture and eating the grass amidst the buttercups. Their coats are shiny in the sun, and I muse about the good life they have. I wouldn’t mind being one of them, roaming the hillside, standing amidst the yellow buttercups, my back taking in the full sun and cool breezes.
A miniature back and yellow bee comes floating over the bushes, silent in its approach. It hovers, stops, and then moves on. Perhaps it doesn’t recognize me as a flower. I close my eyes and try to listen to the surrounding sounds. Then I wait to feel the breeze to see If I can tell from what direction it is coming and if there is moisture in it. Simple things go unnoticed until you stop and let the Lord offer you His treasures.
These miniature stories go on every day, unnoticed by most of us. They make up the intricately balanced world the Creator has given us. Small miracles happen every nanosecond, a richness of life we don’t get to observe unless we take the time to stop and quietly enjoy our surroundings. I’m grateful for a day in which I can take the time to listen to the morning, the birdsongs, the wind in the leaves and watch the clouds passing overhead. I am in my Father’s vineyard. And while the grapes are not anywhere ready to be picked, I remember the fullness of their scent from walking in another vineyard at harvest. I imagine Jesus loved spending time in a vineyard. He is the vinedresser. Let Him tend your vineyard. He wants you to bear abundant fruit.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
John 15:1-2 NASB