It was the sound of little feet which startled me awake this morning. Not the pitter patter of small children, not Victoria's paws on the wooden floor... but the itty bitty paws of a field mouse in between the walls of our bedroom. I have chills just thinking about it now. I woke my husband and asked if he heard that? He just muttered something about "such things are to be expected when you live in the country" and went back to sleep.
While the clock showed an hour before the alarm would ring, the continuing evidence of a critter in the room took away all need for sleep. I turned the light on as I grabbed the flannel housecoat and a pair of warm socks. Under normal circumstances I would leave the lights off to be polite to he who has no problem sleeping with creatures of field and forest in the house... but this time I wanted to make certain no unwanted visitor had made its' way further into the room.
Victoria met me with a surprised meow and followed me to the dining area where I plugged the tree into the socket... in the dark... which took a little guess work. Making my way to the kitchen, I turned on the coffee pot and went over to talk to the lump under the covers on the family room sofa... suggesting he move into his room if he wanted to sleep another hour.
At first he looked at me as if wondering where he was and who is this person disturbing his sleep. (He arrived home early this morning after studying for finals and collapsed on the sofa... which is his normal habit when he also needs to be awakened early... but not this early.)
I ended up being thankful (kinda') to the little creature who had caused me to awake so early in the morning. The only lights in the house were those of the Christmas tree and the floor lamp bringing light to read over my right shoulder. I finished the last two or three chapters of What the Land Already Knows and felt a kinship to the author as she described life in the country during Advent. She would recognize the sound of itty bitty paws...
Her words brought peace and joy to my heart, reminding me much of my favorite poet-farmer's wife-blogger, Ann. Once again, I thank my Creator for the gift of words and for fellow sojourners with poet's hearts... and skills.
I found myself staring at the lights of the tree, their reflections on cranberry red bulbs and hurricane glass and silver teapots... thinking and pondering as the first light of a new morning could be caught through the lace curtains... a forest of stark tree trunks and branches silhouetted against the sunrise.
Beauty... the human soul needs beauty to live as much as the body requires oxygen. There are seasons of life when beauty surrounds us as if we live in Eden and the world is a blooming garden of wonders.
However, in the winter seasons of our lives... we must at times look for Beauty for that is where we find His voice speaking... gifts from friends who were thinking of us... the early morning lights of the tree... the muted sunrise of another day... warm country houses... soft and lovely kitties... elegant and whimsical Christmas decorations... and yes, sons who arrive safely home in the middle of a winter's night and fall asleep on sofas. :)
Life is good.
Picture: one of the Ducks Unlimited posters; allposters.com