Finding early morning soul space

Dawn over Wetlands

I sit on the bench. In the quiet I watch the sun rise and listen to the birds singing and calling to one another. There are few people around at that hour, but the wetlands are prolific with all kinds of bird life.

What a glorious morning, and I have nowhere else to be, no need to rush. I want to sit and soak it all in, to breathe and be present in this moment.

But there is also a little voice urging me to get up, get moving, and do something more productive.

I’m restless.

It’s not easy to stop, to be still, to be present, to listen.

I know this is an invitation to be with the Lord, to sit with him, watch with him. Not worrying about a prayer list, not worrying about whether he will speak to me. But just to be. To open my eyes, my ears and my heart to the beauty around me, allow it to inspire wonder and worship.

But it’s still a struggle to stay on that bench, not to get up and walk away.

On Purple Pond

A week later and I am back at the wetlands, sitting on the same bench. Another early morning. The fairy wrens are playing chasy, looping in circles, skimming low over the ground, alighting on reed stems before hopping from one to the next. Light glitters on the rippling water. The sun is a glowing orb rising from behind the hill.


And this time – this time is different. This time I’m not restless. This time, my soul is still, and I am grateful for the beauty of this morning, for this gift of whitespace, this gift of companionship, for this moment of intimacy.

In this moment I am content, grateful for this life.

I have stilled and quieted my soul. And I breathe life again.

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. ~ Psalm 131:2

I may be crazy … or maybe bags of ice are beautiful

Something strange is happening. I don’t know what it is, or what it means yet, but I think it’s good.

Texture of Roof

I stood on the city footpath looking at the building across the street. It’s an older building – two or three stories – with a terracotta roof. I saw the light and shadow, and the pattern of the tiles in the sunlight. Beautiful. Completely ordinary. But somehow beautiful.

A sparrow landed on top of a nearby sign, perched for a moment, and flew away. Beautiful. Completely ordinary. But somehow beautiful.

I sat on the bus passing bags of ice stacked neatly in a service station freezer. Beautiful. Completely ordinary. But somehow beautiful.

Maybe I’m going a little nuts. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m really starting to see.

Image courtesy of akeeris /

Up with the early bird

This last week I’ve been learning how to use the manual settings on my camera. Today we had an early morning field trip – the sun was still dragging itself out of bed as we began.

Just thought I’d share my favourite shot with you.

White-faced Heron

This White-faced Heron sat patiently, apparently unconcerned, while I messed around with various camera settings, took some very ordinary photographs, changed lenses, took more very ordinary photographs, until I finally found the right settings and the right angle.

I think perseverance paid off.