We moved recently to a new house without any trees in the backyard. There’s just a rectangle of green grass and the shed my husband built to store our yard tools. I intend to plant a beautiful garden there next spring but for now, the space remains bare and uneventful except for the sprinklers that pop up in the early morning hours.
However, for the past week, I’ve been obsessed with what is happening in our almost empty backyard. We hung a hummingbird feeder in the grass beside our covered porch last month. It had been out for several weeks before we saw any action and now we have a regular guest.
He or she shows up multiple times a day to eat and to rest on our feeder. At times he will sit atop the star hook and look around the yard. No matter what I might be doing in the house, I find my eyes are constantly drawn to the window to see if my new little friend is visiting.
Sometimes I go outside to my patio to sit quietly and wait. After a few minutes, my waiting is usually rewarded by a visit from a tiny and amazing “hummer” as they are called. At those times, I always think of my favorite Bible verse from Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
The older I get, the more I appreciate the value of a few moments of stillness in my day…whether it is for the time to pray, to think about the people in my life, to plan my time, or simply to watch the fluttering wings of a little hummingbird.
The world we live in is full of quiet noise even when there is no actual sound involved. We can place our phones on mute, but we are still bombarded with calls and texts and messages and emails to the point where it is difficult to find a break from the general clamor.
One of my friends asked on Facebook today, “Tell me, where is your quiet place?” As I thought about her question, I remembered how as a girl, I would climb to the top of a tall apple tree in my grandparent’s apple orchard. I would sit on the highest branch looking up into the sky and out over the farm. All of these years later, I still remember the peaceful feeling that came with that wonderful stillness in the top of the apple tree.
Someday, I hope my place to “be still” will be a pretty spot overlooking the water. But for now, it’s in my writing room or on my patio waiting for a little visitor to appear.
Tell me, where is your quiet place?