One early summer morning, Tess, a Trumpeter Swan, looked up over the cattails of her hidden nest on Silver Lake and saw something that gladdened her heart.
“Jason, Jolene,” she cried to her two sleeping cygnets. “Wake up! There’s something special I want you to see.”
Too groggy to disagree, the siblings followed their mother out of the tall fronds into the center of the lake. The water shimmered like a newly polished mirror in the early sun; and along the shore, a warm, brisk wind played in the trees, shaking sleep from their heavy limbs.
Yawing broadly, Jolene jumped on her mother’s back and said, “It’s all the same.”
A twinkle came to Tess’ eyes. “No, look into the water and tell me what you see.”
“Me, too,” Jason said, jumping up with his sister. “I want to see, too.”
Looking hard, a red, diamond shape suddenly appeared before them, dipping and dancing across the lake’s surface, trailing behind it a long tail with four tied, white bows.
“What is it? What is it?” Jason cried, jumping from his mother’s back and splashing into the water to chase the flitting red object.
Wide awake, Jolene followed her brother, rushing after him, creating tiny wakes to wrinkle the lake’s surface causing the image to vanish and re-appear like magic. Across the lake, the siblings swam, harder, faster, but never able to capture the illusive apparition.
Exhausted, the cygnets returned to their mother. “What is it?” they panted, hopping back onto their mother’s back once again.
Tess arched her elegant, slender neck and nodded toward a large green meadow that butted next to the lake.
The two cygnets saw a young boy, running back and forth across the field. He was dressed in a blue stripped t-shirt and brown shorts. The boy held a twig, wound with white string beside him as he ran.
“What’s he doing?” Jolene asked.
“Watch,” Tess answered. “Follow the string from his hand into the air.”
The far end of the string hung in the air, and disappeared behind one of the oak trees lining the meadow. But, as the boy ran the string rose higher into the sky and suddenly behind the branches of the oak, a red object with a tail of four tied, white bows appeared.
“A kite,” Tess explained to the startled siblings.
“Look,” Jason exclaimed, as the kite hid in the mist of low cloud. “It looks like he could pull that cloud right down to the ground.”
“Why do they fly kites?” Jolene asked, mesmerized.
Tess shook her head. “I’m really not sure. “But your grandmother thought like Jason, and said it was like sewing.”
She nodded. “The kite is in the sky, the boy is on the ground pulling the string like a thread, tying the earth and sky together.”
“I like thinking like my grandma,” Jason said proudly.
Jolene was about to say something when a peal of thunder broke the morning sky. Dark clouds quickly rolled over the horizon into their valley, bringing with it a strong east wind.
They watched as the boy hastily pulled in his kite and ran from the meadow, rain following closely on his heels.
Tess moved her family to the protection of an overhanging willow. The storm blew over as quickly as it came and the dark clouds were soon spilt with threadlike shafts of light.
Patches of light filtered through the limbs of the willows and Jolene swam in front of her mother. “Mom,” she asked. “When something gets torn and needs mending, is it okay to stitch it together.”
Tess nodded. “If you love it enough to save you do.”
“Then I think that’s what God’s doing with those rays of light coming down from heaven.
I think they’re golden threads and God is pulling us close, mending what he loves.” She glanced at her brother. “Grandpa told me that once,” she said smugly.
Tess moved her two cygnets out from beneath the willow. The small patches of light had now been woven into a full quilt, covering the valley with its golden warmth. A rainbow arched over the green meadow and the boy appeared once again, running beneath it, string and kite trailing, running to launch his red kite once more.
As the Trumpeter family watched, Jason said, “Man reaching up, God reaching down. Pretty cool, huh, Mom?
“Each stitch pulling, each side holding on.” She replied with a smile. “Yes, pretty cool, indeed.”
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