Sunday, April 8, 2012

Life is Beautiful

I apologize to everyone who comes to my house after dark, but we are without a porch light. 

Early this spring, I noticed bits of glass accumulating on my porch.  The glass fixture covering our porch light had a panel broken out of it months previously.  I'd cleaned it up when it first broke so found it odd to suddenly see more glass. 

A few days later I understood where the glass was coming from.  Apparently some of the glass had landed inside the light fixture when the panel broke, and a swallow couple had cleared the objectionably sharp debris from the location they had chosen to build their nest.  Sweet as it was to see a nest in my porch light fixture, I didn't think it belonged there so I pulled the nest out. 

My heart melted to see and feel the tender nest.  It was built out of the softest twigs money can't buy and padded with downy dryer lint.  I set the nest in my flower bed and watched.  Within a short time, the nest was rebuilt in my porch light.  I removed the bulb to make more room for its occupants.  Today I noticed four tiny eggs in the center of the nest. 

I love life.

Happy Easter.

The re-birth of spring is a beautiful time to celebrate the rebirth of Christ's resurrection.  Every day is a brand new start; every bad moment can be made right thanks to God's healing power.  Life is beautiful.


The darling kits came and went while No-name grew to his full size.  People stopped and watched No-name and his buddies pile in a heap to sleep, or bound about the cage in a frolic.  Once in a while, someone would ask to hold the critters who populated his cage.  No-name watched with his probing, red eyes as his companions were lovingly toted away.  He could barely remember his life outside this tiny compartment, but he'd come across the country from the Marshall Ferret Farm.

Months passed and a mother and son came to pick out a ferret.  They held him a moment and then they chose his sable-colored cousin with the irresistible bandit-masked face, even though he heard the clerk offer to sell him at a discount.  He heard himself described as a hard-to-sell albino.  As the mother and son turned their back on him, he flopped himself on the floor of his cage, peering out of dejected eyes, his body and spirit sinking low. 

The next day, the mother and son returned; something about him called to them.  No-name was lifted out of the cage and put into a cardboard box.  He scratched like crazy to get out and after a nauseating ride he was released into a strange new world.  There was his masked cousin, now named Snickers.  He heard himself being called Sputnik, which means "Companion." 

Sputnik was determined to solve the puzzle of how to free himself from his new cage.  He clamped down on the bars and used his strong jaws to rattle them lose.  The cage could no longer retain his free spirit. 

Sputnik's exuberance quickly overpowered Snickers, so he looked to the people who shared his abode.  Whenever someone entered the room, he'd enthusiastically take up a fighting stance, challenging the person towering above him:  his playful gaze effectively saying, "Put up your dukes!"  The mother could never resist this challenge.  She'd drop down on all fours and laugh delightedly, ruffling up his white fur.  Sputnik would back away just out of reach, then lunge forward getting a belly rub, and then dive into a hiding place. 

He had so much life packed in his perky little body.  Playful as an otter, handsome as a miniature polar bear, he charmed the household.  But sometimes the people were too busy to play and he would sink onto the floor, looking up at them with a mysterious combination of bright, disappointed eyes.  

He LOVED the outdoors.  He could slide right out of the harness which seemed to be his essential outdoor gear.  His favorite time was when there was a foot of snow to play in.  He bounded over it, then he burrowed under it.  He explored the white-blanketed yard but didn't lose his harness until he hid under the shed.  At length he came out and was promptly taken back inside.  That was the last time he ever wandered freely out-of-doors.

The people seemed to be bothered by the fact he had stopped eating.  Sputnik was taken in and out of clinics; vets prodded and probed and eventually determined he had cancer.  In only a few days his body became too frail to sustain his spirit. He bounded joyfully into ferret heaven.  He watched the mother and son cry their eyes out for him.  He watched as they picked out another ferret to try to fill the huge hole in their hearts he'd left behind.  He heard the mother saying a prayer of gratitude, thanking God for letting him share his short life with them.  Funny how you can grow to love someone so much in such a short time.

"Don't cry, Mother;  don't feel sad, Son.  I just found another way to free my spirit.  Life is beautiful in every sphere. With all my love, Sputnik."

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