I got away from it.
Decided it was silly.
Began to discount its value, my fascination with feathers.
I’d been letting them lay, walking right past or looking closely to consider gathering up only to find them invaluable.
Worse yet, taking cute pictures and posting them.
I was faking.
It was a slow descent into believing that was crazy, finding a feather and proclaiming it prophetic or memorable in some way.
Worse yet, believing a feather on the ground meant God was watching and that He knew my steps would be passing this way, that my rapid walk would slow and my glance go sideways to find the loosened from goose, hawk, sparrow or bluebird, feathers.
I had become unaffected by discovery.
I could not seem to find God for a bit.
Thickly guarded and girded in old dark leather, my heart felt imprisoned by invalid disdain.
But, the softening would not let up, the grace of God wouldn’t relent.
I walked after skipping two days due to fatigue and suffocating heat. There had been a shower, the breeze was back.
I trudged on for the sake of the good it does me, wards off depression, affords time alone.
The white was glistening in the grass, a feather like the wing of an angel in the same spot as three days ago.
I had found it, held it for a second and then decided to let it land as I wistfully blew it loose from my fingers attempting a cinematic floating away of it towards heaven.
Instead it just fell and I walked on.
See, told you, I thought to myself.
What has happened? You don’t care anymore.
Until yesterday I saw it and I asked myself.
What’s happening with you? Why have you stopped being open to noticing, to deciding God is near?
I held the feather, turned it over to see the beauty of strong striated brown, ivory, black all perfectly curving upward from the sturdy white spine like unbreakable bone.
I walked on, holding it in my free hand. Passed another walker, phone in her hand, noise in our ears.
We nod and continue.
Good, no casual conversation required. Relief.
I think for a second. I wish I was more of a “peopler”.
And then I am surprised, this longing for people; this is new.
God is doing something, making me less okay with lonely.
I continue walking and I decide I’ll not keep the feather, I have so very many.
But, something else, maybe.
I walk towards the end of the trail. In the center is a short pole that keeps cars from entering.
I position the feather there and I leave it, uncertain if it will stay, if the breeze will catch it, if it will simply fall to the hard ground of trail or if someone will come along behind me walking and find it, to say.
Oh, wow, a feather. Wow, this seems significant, my finding.
I imagine them feeling a peace.
I believe it will make a difference for the discoverer and this has me hopeful again.
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,”
Psalms 30:11 ESV
This return to my sure noticing, this return to my embrace of God, of lying my head on his shoulder, being held by His grace, wonderfully.
And wonderment, again.
To return to a simple joy that few speak of but find it too.
Lord, may I remain pliable, may I welcome the breaking of my hard places to be approachable and to never grow so thickly guarded or burdened that I don’t welcome the intersecting of you.
And with others.