Monday, September 29, 2014

Everyday Miracles: Toast-Stealing Dogs, Dancing Leaves, and Spider Silk

This morning a dog stole my toast.  Actually, the dog was mine.   Because she was sitting on the bed when I crawled in with my breakfast tray, and because I set the tray down and held my plate in my hand in front of me but was looking behind me while I was scooting backward against the headboard, and because she was sitting directly in front of me, she thought I was offering it to her.

She was delighted to be offered a piece of buttered toast (imported Irish butter, no less), and took it.  I turned around to see her sitting stock-still on the bed in front of me with a whole piece of toast in her mouth. 

What a delightful surprise!  A day when a dog unintentionally steals your toast is a harbinger for miraculous, magical things to come.

My friend, Jessica Dunn, is less than half my age but far wiser than I. She has an old soul.  Last year she told me, “You have the gift of miracles.”

“Huh?” I said.  “I can’t do any miracles.  Oh, I can make a fine pot of Chicken and Dumplings, but that’s where my miracle-making ends.”

She smiled.  “You have the gift of miracles because you see them all around you in the little things in life.  Few people realize they're seeing miracles every day, but you do.”

Oh.  If that’s the gift of miracles, I guess I have it.  So I knew that if my dog stole my Irish-buttered toast, I should encounter at least one more miracle today.  And within the hour, I did.

Husband Don, toast-stealing dog Callie, and I took a walk.  We’d gone only fifty feet when I saw a sweet gum leaf hovering in the air about five feet from the ground.  It tumbled and twirled and danced.   It careened out and flew back, but it stayed hovering in the air.  It knew we were watching, so it showed off.

“Hey, Don,” I said.  “Look at the leaf!  It’s a miracle!” We stood quietly to watch it. 

“It’s stuck on a spider-web strand,” he said. 

“I know!” I said.  “And isn’t it miraculous that it is?  And aren’t spider webs miraculous?”

“I guess,” he said.  “What are they made of? And how do spiders make them?”  (He had a lousy fourth-grade science teacher.)

“Spider silk.  They make it from a gland in their bodies. Once for ounce, it’s five times stronger than steel. NASA studies it for spaceships.”  I’m afraid of spiders, but their architectural acumen and artistry delight and amaze me. 

So today was a day of little miracles, and for that, I offer this prayer.

Thanks God, for everyday miracles.  Thanks for a dog who unintentionally steals my toast, a sweet gum leaf who dances in the air, and the architectural marvels constructed by a fellow earthling with a brain the size of a grain of sand.  Miraculous, magical world. Thanks, miraculous, magical God.


  1. Great morning message! I shall remember this as I go forward today and be aware of these tiny and oh so important messages. Thank you! Oh thank you!

  2. My dear friend, you are more responsible than anyone else for teaching me to see everyday miracles. You are the one who taught me about Leaf People, and Mushroom People, Snowflake People, and even Rock People. Your appreciation of every element of nature helped me understand the miracles and not see "just a leaf" but a Leaf Person, not "simply a rock," but a Rock Person, not "another mushroom" but a Mushroom Person with its own identity and unique nature. I owe you the thanks. M.