This morning as I walked my hound, I reflected on a few things.
1. Sometimes, God speaks softly in the early morning. I spoke with a friend yesterday who said she slept an hour late because of the time change. But when she woke (still in the early morning hours) she had a moment of clarity or inspiration where she felt His presence and His small voice in her heart say, "don't live in the past." I thought about how profound it is that He often reveals himself in the newness of morning and holds us close -- and how the peace we feel in that hour can flood all around us.
2. Occasionally, the presentation of something can create a stronger impact than experience. I've cried listening to music before, and people have asked me -- genuinely interested -- what the story is behind my connection with the song. Now, I am the first to admit that storytelling makes up our world. But as I've listened to beautifully constructed songs, I realized the lyrics often do not tell a story (or at least not in a traditional sense) and I do not necessarily encounter songs or develop sentimental attachments due to some compressed memory that had to do with me or someone I knew. Sometimes, I am simply drawn to a piece of music because of the instrumental part or note or voice; I am moved by the way the words formed together and string along some significant weight larger than myself or perhaps even our shared human experience.
3. My neighborhood has the most beautiful cats. This is not a passing declaration; I really did dwell on this thought! We're talking incredible cream and fluffy white colors with piercing Easter egg blue eyes. They are in trees and under porches and hiding behind bushes. My dog's nose finds them out and it still shocks me how fearless they are around her, every one of them -- like a united alliance. They are like jungle cats with huge paws and they are beautiful and graceful when they prance over car windshields and pounce on baby birds. I really did reflect on how remarkably beautiful they are.
4. People are lonely and they don't want to be. I met a quiet neighbor with a whippet who was equally as reserved. She seemed awkward but willing to know me, and we discussed the dogs' names but never exchanged our own. There was an inclination to be authentic with the other, to be more than the neighbors who wave behind fences.
There were a few other thoughts that crossed my mind as I walked, but they swept by like soap down the drain. They may cycle through again. In the mean time, here are the songs I listened to that contributed to a pleasant, crisp morning.