Stillness – by Rev. Heather McCarrel

It began as a daily observation but became a source of great healing. I first noticed little green tips pointing out of the cold, hard ground. They grew tall seemingly right before my eyes.  Then the buds appeared, growing slowly to reveal their hidden gems.  At last my flower beds are full of their yellow, white, pink and purple celebration, perfuming the air with promises of sunshine, warmth and joyful days ahead.

Photo by Melissa Askew used with permission/Unsplash

These slowed-down COVID days have afforded me the time to sit still and capture all the life around me.  This life has been happening all along unnoticed.  Now I have charted the ever changing growth of the flowers, the budding and growth of the maple trees (have you noticed the bobbles they are now donning?) and the dramatic brightness of the forsythia bushes.

I have sat in silence enjoying the building of new nests and the refurbishing of old ones.  Many giggles have been shared over the amusing antics of the red, black and grey squirrels.  And I had no idea how many visitors there were to my backyard until now: midnight visits from raccoons and owls, followed by a chorus of morning birds rising alongside the spring sun on the backs of rabbits, skunks and the neighborhood cats.

The ongoing affairs in my small piece of God’s Creation promises to entertain me in the weeks ahead.  I anticipate the lilac bushes bursting with colour, the blueberry bushes exploding with sustenance and the rhubarb growing tall and unyielding.  The vegetable garden has been tilled and waits to receive the peas, beans and tomato plants that now fill my window sills. And I can’t wait to see how many chicks the robins produce.

The great Stoic Markus Aurelius wrote that having stillness allows us to “concentrate on living what can be lived (the present moment).” Only then, he said, “can you spend the time you have left in tranquility. And in kindness. And at peace with the spirit within you.”   (Daily Stoic: Ryan Holiday)

May we all appreciate the gift of stillness which these Stay-At-Home days afford us and may we glean tranquility, peace and beauty with each and every day.


Rev. Heather McCarrel,
Port Elgin United Church

P.S. With gratitude to Sandy Lindsay requesting that this BLOG continue in the Saugeen Times and with permission granted from my denomination it has been decided Stainglasslens will continue to part of this online newspaper.