Originally Published: July 15, 2013 6 a.m.
It has been another week of tender, heartfelt moments for those of us in the Prescott area. Perhaps we need a boost to our collective spirits. In this season of sun, fun, barbecues, picnics, hikes, parades, rodeos, ballgames and vacations, it is important to be positive. Hey, it's important to think of good news and small miracles. In a world that often feels full of troubles, let's be reminded of the daily wonders.
I have a small, deformed sparrow that lives around my house. I have noticed this little fellow, because he has a smashed-in looking face, two normal legs and a third leg jutting out of his chest. He has an odd flat head, with what appears to be a double beak. This tiny, plucky bird sits in a tree, nibbling at seed from a finch sock. Surrounded by glorious, golden finches, he stands out like a sore thumb. He doesn't fly far or smoothly and hangs around his special tree. He doesn't seem to have many bird friends, but I have watched him throw his head back and sing. He may be different, but he still sings a beautiful song.
I watched as my daughter's neighbors in Anthem decorated the outside of their house with flags and red, white and blue ribbons, celebrating the Fourth of July. A month ago, the father had died after a long battle with cancer. It was heartwarming to watch his wife and young children hang up wreaths, ribbons and flags, with such joy and determination. They experienced a staggering loss, but they decorated boldly, as if to say, "We are still here to carry on." Life is for celebration.
My old horse, Angel, had a rough six months the last year of her life. She had her right eye removed from an infection that wouldn't heal and her left eye had a cataract. Home from the veterinary hospital, she was walked into her stall and proceeded to stand in a corner. But her stall-mate, a large Arabian named Pegasus, would have none of that. With loving persistence, Pegasus stood over Angel, nudging her gently, nickering softly and then started leading her around. Tentatively, Angel followed. First he would guide her through the arena, then he would lead her out into the pasture. She would listen for his gentle footsteps and together, sometimes with her head on his shoulder, a few paces behind him, they would walk the field in unison. With Pegasus, Angel was no longer in darkness. Who needs sight when you have faith?
A winner of the "Top Dog Contest" a few years back was a mutt named Truman. He manages to have a happy life with only three legs. Left for dead in a parking lot, his new owner is "constantly amazed" at how much love Truman has to give and how fast he can run. There is another dog, appropriately named "Faith," who was born with no front legs. She has learned to hop around upright on her hind legs and now visits nursing homes and rehabilitation centers throughout the country. Faith's message? You can overcome the unthinkable with love, help and determination. Life's circumstances may hobble us, but we can still move forward.
A widow in her late eighties went into a local jewelry store with a well-worn gold wedding ring in a little plastic bag. She had fallen on tough times, so she was selling her ring to "make ends meet." When the jeweler asked if she wouldn't miss the wedding band, she replied, "Not as much as I miss my husband." The jeweler offered her $200. Before she could relinquish her ring, a stranger stepped in and handed her the money. "Some things we need to keep," is all the kind man said. With shock and tears, she left the store with her ring back on her finger that she had worn for sixty-four years, two hundred dollars and renewed faith in the world. Real gold is found in the unselfish acts of others.
Right now, something special is happening... an unspoken act of kindness, a gift of a beautiful song, a trusting friend guiding another through dark times, a family experiencing loss but celebrating life, a small act of encouragement that transforms a life. We live in a connected place, evidenced by the outpouring of love and support to the families of our Fallen Heroes. The best "gifts" never need wrapping and don't cost a dime. They are the kindness, joy, faith, hope and love we can pass around freely and generously. Dear Readers, may you have a week filled with small wonders, miracles and simple pleasures.
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org.