Whispers from the Wings

Cerulean Skies
(c) 2012

In a recent post I contemplated Frederick Buechner’s definition of compassion in Wishful Thinking.

A cousin’s comment on that post has had me thinking about another essay in the same book, concerning what we take to be coincidental: “I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know.  Who can say what it is that’s going on, but I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: ‘You’ve turned up in the right place at the right time. You’re doing fine. Don’t ever think that you’ve been forgotten.’”

Well, it may be wishful thinking on my part, but perhaps I did show up in the right places at the right times today.

I heard whispers and roars, and was led into color and light.

It began early in the morning, as a dollop of sun hit a spot on the floor as light streamed through the outline of a flowering tree Jim had planted.  I felt my breath catch when I looked down and saw dancing upon my bare foot a single bright segment of sunlight, quavering from a morning breeze that had shaken the tree through which it shined,  forming a shimmering arrow laced with leaves.  It pointed me outside, towards that sepia swath I described only weeks ago.

The swath is not sepia anymore.

Only handfuls of straw stalks remain at bottom edges where they are being pushed out by broad, healthy leaves which exuberantly have erupted to replace the sadly drooping flora I had been unable to envision recovering green.

Recovered Green
(c) 2012

I wrote then:  “Maybe this particular constellation of plants does not bloom until far later than the others, and might someday be restored to something along the color spectrum.  But I simply cannot envision these straw stalks turning to green any more than I can imagine them being spun into gold.  And the drooping fragile rice paper-thin shells of a few remaining flowers seem ready to let go.  They look as if they have been pressed for a century between a book’s pages.  It seems inconceivable that they could rejoin their colorful neighboring flowering plants.”

Jim fooled me again.

The arrow of light led me to this first-of-the-summer, heart-shaped sky blue blossom, framed by arrowhead leaves on the same plant in whose rebirth I simply could not place faith:

(c) 2012

The surrounding landscape has come to life with scarlet roses, orange tiger lilies, and yellow flowers which entice black-and-orange butterflies.  No color in Jim’s garden is less than vibrant.

This was not the end of the day’s coincidences.

A navy air show took place in Portsmouth, and my eyes were drawn to the sky for hours.  I did not see only jets.  I saw an enormous heart:


(c) 2012

To the right of the heart, two jets’ trails had formed a wispy thread to a large letter “J.”  At the left, two other jet trails curved to form a towering, lopsided heart shape.

Heart Trail
(c) 2012

Jets were not the only ones flying in formation through azure sky.  Aloft were seagulls and starlings; bumblebees, butterflies, and bulbously blue-bottomed dragonflies which glittered in the strong sun just as the jets did as they twisted and the rays hit silver.

Just after three jets flew circled in to a common landing strip from different directions, three indigo buntings replaced them in a tight arrow formation, as if to announce, “This is how it’s done.”

Were it not for the treeline below and these airborne travellers, it would have been hard to distinguish the sky from the white-capped ocean waves Jim loved.

Sky Waves
(c) 2012

Something in my subconscious tugged at me well before the end of the air show, this time beckoning me home.

Just as I was approaching the final turn, I looked up and caught my breath again: from a weather perspective it didn’t make any sense at all, but there it was, another arrowhead, the only thing vividly lit and colored  in a vast sea of bright blue and white–a single, compact rainbow cloud behind wires strung like a ship’s mast.  It was pointing the way home.

Rainbow Cloud
(c) 2012

(c) 2012 Stephanie M. Glennon

Author: Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She attended law school near the the banks of the Charles River and loves that dirty water; she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter and @schnitzelpond on Instagram. Bonus points for anyone who understands the Instagram handle. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2023 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with the wee Wordpress buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.

12 thoughts on “Whispers from the Wings”

  1. Light is constantly filling us,bathing us, bending and contorting around us and providing us with with the stuff wonder is made of.

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