in the tiptoe moments

I see the point of a soft pink triangle that cuts between two pine trees to the southeast, and a sparrow lands on a bare branch just outside my window. I peel back the Target-bought shabby chic quilt, the white one striped with pink roses, and slide from between crisp white sheets, careful to not disturb the cat curled next to me. I slip on my fluffy white robe, pocket the Droid, and creep downstairs in search of slippers.

I love the tiptoe moments of the morning.

When the house is quiet save for the hum of the fridge.

Before the grandgirl begs me to please pour her Trix and milk.

Before she plops on the couch, turns on cartoons and fires up the sound on her Kindle.

Before D rattles dishes, turns on the news, and wants to discuss which bill to pay with the corn money.

Before the day’s loud descends.

When I can just sit in the stillness and ignore the to-do list.

A bluejay pecks at ice, so I run hot water in a pitcher, step into the cold and pour slowly into the bath, watch a small hole form. The basin overflows. I wonder if the birds wait and watch, if they’re grateful I’ve met their need.

I set the pitcher on the concrete, rock top from metal can, and scoop black oil into Tupperware. The usually skittish chickadee waits until I can almost reach out and stroke a feather before it flutters to a nearby bush.

The sun has exploded in the triangle, and I gasp at how the frosted ground glitters with many colors.

I could have missed this.

I hurry back to the garage, toss plastic back in seed, replace lid, and give an extra push right and then left to critter proof. In the back kitchen, I shed slippers and retrieve my tall black muck boots from the dust under the pine bin. With camera in tow, I head for the yard.

I breathe deep of fresh and snap, snap from different angles, try to capture the jewels spilled before me.

For a moment, I remember my mom and how we wrapped her well and wheeled her out in the November chill. How she’d stare at baubles in the blue refracted by the scratched lens of glasses for as long as we (my dad and Sissy and I) could stand the cold. “Sunspots,” she called them. And I wonder at how that was only a glimpse of the treasure laid up for her–for us–by the Father of lights.

And I hear Grace call.

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Sandra Heska King
PRAY EDITOR "Once a nurse, always a nurse," they say. But now I spend my days with laptop and camera in tow as I look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. I'm a Michigan gal, mom to two, grandmom to two, and wife to one. My husband and I live on 50 acres in the same 150-plus-year-old farmhouse he grew up in. I love this quote by Mary Oliver, "Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." That's how I want to live. And I'm still learning how to be. Still.
Sandra Heska King

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  1. Goosebumps, Sandra. You’ve given me goosebumps. Because you took me out into the frosty morning with you.

    And, oh, how I love me the stillness of a quiet morning. I’ll be seeing those jewels over many morning coffee cups to come, now that you’ve shown them to me. And, yes, I think we’ll take them in together throughout eternity.

    • Sandra Heska King

      I really didn’t think I’d caught those colors. I was so excited when I downloaded them. They kind of remind me of Christmas lights, too. :)

  2. Beautiful. You’ve made me appreciate my own tiptoe moments all the more, Sandy.

    • Sandra Heska King

      You’ve shared some beautiful ones, Laura. You’ve taught me a thing or more.

  3. Diana Trautwein

    Love-a-ty, love, love, love this. Pictures and words, and especially your heart, right here for us all to see. Thank you.

  4. God lights. Exquisite! I love your tiptoe moments, Sandy.

    • Sandra Heska King

      I still can’t believe the wonder of them. He knew I needed something special. :)

  5. I saw the pictures and just knew this was a post by you.
    And when I saw your face, I just knew the words would delight.
    And they did

  6. Sandra,
    I love the “tip toe moments” (oh, and I fully plan on stealing that phrase!). There’s something so special about the time when everyone is still asleep. It’s my secret time, the one they don’t know about, but the one I crave.

    • Sandra Heska King

      What’s mine is yours, Amy. :)

      Now I need to work on my attitude about being interrupted. 😉

  7. The beauty we almost miss…thank you for the reminder! What a gift you share!

    • Sandra Heska King

      Thank you, Sophia. You are a gift to me this morning. Praying God would open all of our eyes in wonder. It’s so much easier to turn our whole focus on the ugly and the pain–forgetting even that there’s beauty even in its midst.

  8. Oh, the wonders we miss so many times when we do not rise early. My latest post deals with this very same thing – getting up to see the sunrise over the mountains.
    Beautiful post, Sandy!

    • Sandra Heska King

      It’s worth it to drag ourselves out of bed on a cold early morning, right? Of course, our night owl friends might see and hear things we don’t–but there’s just nothing like a new day breaking.

  9. Shelly Miller

    My favorite time of day – those tip-toe moments of quiet stillness. I love how you see and capture the beauty all around you, savoring the simple gifts we often walk right past.

    • Sandra Heska King

      The way the sun glints off a drop of frost on a cold morning. If we can just remember that even the most icy days can glitter with promise.

  10. So much rich imagery in your writing, Sandra. I love tiptoeing with you.

  11. Oh. my. word. We get to share all this wonderment. Thanks SHK…..your God eyes are beautiful.


  1. In the Tiptoe Moments « Sandra Heska King - [...] be continued over at today. Won’t you tiptoe [...]
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