walking with wonder

by Kristen

A sound caught my attention. I slowed my pace, listening and scanning the area to my left.

Loud and a bit harsh—familiar, but not familiar, all at once—I couldn’t place it, but suddenly I was aware that I wasn’t alone.

Seconds ticked by before my eyes locked in on what my ears found first. Could it be? A striking silhouette cut against the morning sky. I reversed course, walking toward the figure.

Just then it darted and dipped toward the creek. Out of sight, but back in a flash. I pivoted after it, studying the powerful build, strong beak and shaggy crest waving like a rebellious mohawk.

Abandoning its second perch it headed for a tree still chattering away. I watched and followed along for another minute until it disappeared in the distance with a display of gravity defying aerial acrobatics.

A belted kingfisher patrolling the campus creek is not an ordinary sight. And I could have missed it.

I could have dismissed the out-of-place sound. I could have quieted my curiosity and continued on my way. I could have refused to deviate from my pre-determined path and settled for a partial view of wonder.

That’s my tendency—to move through life with limited awareness of the activity around me, too destination-driven for a detour. Missing the movement of a bird is one thing . . . but that’s not all I miss.

Too often I toe tightly to my course. I hear the familiar-but-hard-to-place whisper and walk right by without investigating. And I miss the movement of God. I miss opportunities to pause and enjoy what He is doing along the pathway.

But the unexpected call of a kingfisher pierced my dulled ears and left me looking with new expectation for the already present wonder around me.


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