I sat submerged in warm water up to my chin, a warm cup of coffee in my hand, awaiting the dawn. Just a blush of pink visible to the east, everything hushed. I put my head back and looked skyward—waiting. My first sighting was a wide “V” of fast-moving black birds. They swept across the pale lavender-blue sky and were gone. Others followed, small and large formations, each leaving me feeling more and more elated.
Then, came a tiny, chirping sound on the morning air, clear and high pitched, steady. I looked but saw nothing—until a white-tailed kite came into my vision, hovering there right above my head. My smile widened as I watched her there, knowing she was honed in on tiny prey below, invisible to me.
Just seconds later, still in awe of what had already presented itself to me on this last day of 2013, in came a tiny hummingbird—zipping past my ear, startling me with a loud buzz, on his way to the yellow flowering maple. Choosing flowers to impale with his tiny proboscis for breakfast.
Such a glorious display God chose to share with me on this last day of the year, rewarding me for arising early. As the sun rose and the sky brightened, the magic of the pre-dawn begin to fade, replaced by crows and gulls, but I had been there in the early hours. I had been witness to the early risers, to the beauty that I could so easily have missed.