Under the quiet

A few days ago I posted a picture of the pond in my back yard.  The caption for the picture was from Psalm 23.  I would like to share a bit of background for the scripture, if you don’t mind.

A few years ago when we were in the process of moving after being in one place for almost 27 years, a feat unknown to many military families, I was pretty exhausted.  We drove across this great country of ours and it gave us time to reconnect as my dear hubby had commuted from one coast to the other for the previous eighteen months.  He would fly out on a Sunday morning and return on Friday evening.  Saturday was given to laundry and catch up and switching out dry cleaning.  Some times he was able to stay in one place for a couple of weeks and then back again to the hectic commute.  We were both tired.

Anyhow, as we were driving through the beautiful state of Arizona heading up the mountains outside of Phoenix, I started to think and pray.  I was complaining to the Lord about my tiredness and lamenting that it would be a long while until I could once more enjoy the red rock of the mountains.  What came into mind was part of Psalm 23, “I will lead you beside still waters and I will restore your soul.”  Just thinking on that made me relax and start to enjoy our adventure.

A week later we found ourselves in our new home.  We got here at night and I knew that there was a pond in the back yard, but given the fact I am almost totally blind in the dark, I did not see it.  The next morning I come down the steps and see out the window a beautiful little pond.  It is as still as anything I had ever seen up to that point.  The water lay in the pond, glistening in the morning sun.  The reeds surrounding the far side of the pond reflected in it.  I smiled to myself and again the verse in Psalm 23 came to mind.  This was my still water.

It took a few days for me to actually approach the pond.  First, there were a mountain of boxes that needed unpacked and then there was the alligators that I had heard about in the low country where we are.  Eventually as I sat in my kitchen looking out back I saw a fish jump.  It jumped across the pond, up, out, down, up, out, down.  It was incredible!  I had never seen jumping fish in a pond.

Taking my dear puppy out on a leash, we approached the edge of the pond.  There were guppies and little crabs and an occasional turtle living in the pond.  The shallow part is teaming with life.  Mud wasps enjoy a perfect environment there.

That is life in pond, outside and occasionally in the pond are ducks, geese, herons and I have seen the occasional hawk come swooping in for a meal of a fish and, unfortunately a duckling.   It is an incredible lesson in nature that I daily get to witness.

A couple of years ago during a thunderstorm we were looking out the window watching the lightning.  There in the yard was a shadow.  The more we looked at the shadow the more we realized it wasn’t just a shadow.  It was an alligator!  We went out to the deck to get a closer look at this majestic creature.  We turned on the porch light and my hubby grabbed a large flashlight so we could get a good look at him.  You would think we would grab a camera, but, no, we didn’t think of that!  There in the yard, was a beautiful alligator about six and half feet long.  I thought I would be panic-stricken and fearful, but instead I was in awe.  He was magnificent.  We stood looking at him for a couple of minutes and then, tired of having lights shining on him, he raised his head and in one felt swoop, flopped himself back into the pond where he swam around for the rest of the night.

Since then, we have not had the privilege of seeing another gator.  We have seen the occasional snake swim across from one side to the other, but nothing as breathtaking as our friend, Al.  (Yes, I tend to name creatures, it makes them more like family)

What I have learned in the process of living near this still pond is that still does not mean stagnant.  Under the quiet and the stillness there can be an abundance of life.  I look to the pond and marvel at the lessons it holds for me.  I am a work in progress.  I have thought most of my adult life that to be productive you have to be rushing.  I am learning that in stillness there can be a lot more going on and it doesn’t take as much energy.

Here are some pictures of my pond and thank you for stopping by, I so appreciate your visits, DAF


Published by marycatherinethomas

M. Catherine Thomas is a published writer, speaker and teacher. Mother of two and grandmother..

2 thoughts on “Under the quiet

  1. I’m smiling at your words this morning because I understand. God teaches such wonderful lessons and allows for the aha moments when we get still. And even more wonderful – He uses our own backyards with His own creations to do it. We marvel at His handiwork and issues that once seemed monumental are put into perspective. Even more amazing to me is how our Lord has criss-crossed our lives with these lessons. Do you remember how I felt when I knew I would have to leave my garden and the big farm pond in 2003? Loved your words today DAF.

  2. I love how He hides surprises for us in our backyard lessons. I always think of your ducks and ducklings when I see our family of ducks appear each spring. Love you, thanks for stopping by.

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