Noticing miracles and remembering amazing

It's easy to get bogged down.  Bogged down by the day to day and bogged down by bigger things, too.  I've been feeling the heaviness of losing my cat and being away from Matthias.  Missing my house and garden and now lonely single cat.  The day that Talula died, I ran over a snake with the lawn tractor.  And then the next day I discovered that the baby bluebirds had all died, most likely because of the extreme heat we'd had.  The heat was getting to me, too.  And the bugs.  And the weeds.  Everywhere weeds.  The weeded areas of the garden had filled up again and we hadn't even finished the first round of weeding in most areas.  I worry about Holden who sometimes has trouble getting up and Bertram who has seemed lethargic lately.  And I worry about the poor little (now big) ducks who still have not gotten used to us.  The night after Talula and the snake, one of them threw up when I was putting her to bed because she was so scared.

Despite what I imagined during high school and college, I am not a pessimistic person.  Even with my sometimes negative thoughts, I generally have a positive outlook.  Things work out.  I truly believe that.  But sometimes it's difficult.  When I'm focused on the things that are bringing me down, it's hard to see all that is amazing, all of the miracles.

A few weeks ago I got an email from a friend of mine.  He said, "Do you realize that just a year ago you were kicking kids out of Noble?  And here you are, in Wisconsin with baby chicks and ducks and Amish guys building things for you.  Do you find that amazing?  I certainly do."  ("Kicking kids out of Noble" is a story for another day... for now, let's just say there were some unpleasant aspects to my job).  And he's right.  It is amazing.  Amazing how different my life is now.  It's not perfect, by any means, but I'm doing so many things that are fulfilling and I am surrounded by so much beauty.  A year ago I wasn't painting, hadn't even tried it.  I didn't have an Etsy shop.  I wasn't creating on a daily basis.  I was blogging, but hadn't met any of the wonderful bloggers that I now consider friends.  I didn't have beautiful wildflower meadows to walk with Holden every day.  When I looked out the bedroom window, I certainly didn't see a cornfield.

That same week, while contemplating what my friend had said, one of the daily poems that I get in my email was Walt Whitman's "Miracles".  That second line, "As to me I know nothing else but miracles" really stuck with me.  Yes, there are miracles everywhere.  Everywhere I look is something amazing.

I spent Friday afternoon and evening in bed, ill from too much sun, a headache and probably all the heavy feelings I've been struggling with.  When I came back I was ready to see the miracles again.

The swallows tending their nest right outside the front door:

The tiny toad my dad found in the garage during his 4th of July visit:

The fact that the bluebirds are rebuilding their nest.

The sweet chicks who come running when we are nearby and who have to climb all over us when we sit with them:

Our thriving vegetable garden (which was still just grass into the first part of May):

and all the meals we've been eating freshly picked and dug.

And all of the goodness yet to come:

And the beauty of just walking through the meadows each and every day (even putting up with the heat and bugs):


  1. It can be really hard to maintain an equalibrium sometimes can't it? Sounds like you're doing an amazing job of holding the good and bad together.

  2. love your post, Anne. I get days like that too and it's really wonderful to be reminded of looking at the beautiful every single day. You spread the happiness my dear, thank you.

    your veggie garden is coming along nicely. Well done!

  3. Balance. Sometimes it's just so, so elusive.

    Thank you for this very special post.


  4. Thanks so much for the support. It means a lot to me that my post has touched each of you.

  5. Wow, things really have changed for you in a year! I can't believe you weren't painting a year ago...could have fooled me! I love how you've just thrown yourself into it ...usually as adults, we're so tentative and hesitant about doing anything fully. I'm curious to hear about your past job. Also, looove that little toad photo :)

  6. This post really struck me, Anne, as you acknowledged being 'down' about some of life's sadnesses, but then turning around to look for the everyday miracles. I found what you wrote to be very inspiring.


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