Last weekend thunderstorms and rain were in the forecast. My son was coming cross county for a long weekend. Rather than give in to the gloomy predictions, I thanked God for the beautiful weather while my son was here. For the ability to do all that was part of His plan. Now, I'm not saying it was my thoughts alone that brought the rains at night and the warm sunny days. What I will say is that I'm learning to lean on the Divine. So despite ominous clouds when we arrived at the state park to see the manatees, I was encouraged by a sign at the gate that three manatees had been counted in the springs that morning, quite a contrast to the 434 during the cold weather. The ranger at the station warned now there were none, so we may want to go home, but I had a feeling we would see what we were supposed to see and to just enjoy the day.
The clouds soon faded and it was a fantastic morning to walk the trails and be in nature. Heading from a look-out deck, a young woman cheered, "I just saw my first manatee!" With that note of encouragement, we made a bee-line for the crowded pier.
Staring out at the calm clear waters, I spotted one! A lone manatee, resting in the bottom of the clear springs. These giant gentle creatures surface once every eight minutes for a breath of fresh air and then sink down in the comfort of the warm springs.
Before long, most of the tourists had departed, leaving us alone to watch. A lady showed up, standing beside me, looking out at the waters. "At least we saw one!" I said to my son and Elliot.
With a look of surprise, the woman asked, "Where?"
"Twelve o'clock!" I pointed beyond the cormorants perched on a fallen log, wings open, drying off in the warm sunshine, to the large gray mass at the bottom of the clear springs.
In contrast to the stillness of the manatee, a sudden burst of unexpected joy crested the blue water. Black fins flapping in unison, a school of fish swam by like graceful ballerinas in an aquatics show. Leaping out of the water, they danced back and forth in our area of the springs. Moving so fast, I couldn't reel them in on my cellphone. For a moment, I entertained a thought the angels were putting on a celebration parade.
"In all the years coming here, I've never seen anything like this," I said aloud.
To my surprise, the lady turned to me and smiled. "They are here because of you." I was surprised by her words.
"You, too." I said, smiling at the synchronicity.
We all had a good laugh, but I must admit that happy school of fish was a reminder to see the joyful dance of life. I was so grateful for the gift to celebrate each precious moment.
Enjoy your day with the Angels.
Love and joyful blessings,