“Sam. Have you seen the binoculars? Look at this.” A beautiful, healthy fox, bushy tail bouncing, was playing in the front yard at the edge of the pond. Sam found both sets of binoculars and brought them to the front door. We watched through the glass as the fox jumped and leaped and pounced in the light snow, up and down, over and over.
“It looks like The Jubilant Dance. I wonder what he’s doing? This is real fox news,” I said.
Watching the animals on Flesher Pond is a daily high. Our simple, quiet life is often interrupted with nature sights and sounds. The cry of the red-tailed hawk; the primeval warning of the blue heron; our resident geese, Frank and Opal, fending off newcomers from landing on the pond – but today we watched in silence. And then it occurred to me.
“I think he’s trying to find something to eat.”
Finally the hunter came up with a vole in its mouth. “I bet it’s a mama fox,” I said.
Head held high, apparently pleased with herself, she trotted across the yard. I saw the bottom half of the vole, short legs twitching, as she made her way to the bridge. Sam and I hurried to the side window. She stepped onto the boardwalk, jogged across the bridge over the ravine, and up the steps. Past the circle drive she made her way, and then ducked into the brush, taking breakfast home to her kits. I wonder how many she is feeding? Today she must feel like a happy mama.
I remember when I was a single mom trying to feed my four marvelously exceptional children. (Ha!) My job at the local university was our physical life-saver, but the pay was small; and the eight-to-five office stress wore me down. For years, we tried to smile through the hardships, and many times God sent us help through angels disguised as friends and co-workers. But for a decade, our life in the woods was a daily challenge; my early morning prayers, my spiritual life-saver.
Then the children graduated from college and moved away, two to New York and two to Seattle. And I met Sam. My struggles didn’t end, but the different pace of being an empty-nester, and six-hour days in the office made life easier. Sam took over the cooking when he retired, and always had a pot of tea ready for me when I got home. The glorious day finally came when I retired, and now I have time to write.
Watching this morning’s show with Sam, with coffee and binoculars, I am at peace. I think today the mama fox must be, too.
I wonder, were folks encouraged as they watched my family through the glass? Did our perseverance strengthen others’ faith? Maybe the faith walk is The Jubilant Dance.
“We are all asked to do more than we can do . . . God is always calling us to do the impossible.” Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water
“I scarcely know the difference between hard and easy. I am always able for what I have to do.” George MacDonald, At the Back of the North Wind