Jack comes running into the house from the back yard. “Quick! Come see! Come see! Someone has to see this!”

Jane and I drop the napkins we’re folding and follow him out of the house, Jane at a dead run, I at a brisk walk.

When we get outside, Jack’s looking up into the sky. “Where are they? Where are they?” His eyes scan a circle of blue from the neighbor’s maple to the ridgeline of our roof.

“There!” he cries suddenly, pointing to a spot in the sky just beyond the top of the fig tree. “Look!”

Jane and I look. Two flocks of Canada geese wing their way northwest in two V’s, one big and long; the other, small and short.

I watch the leader of the long V drop back into the flock, watch the flock’s V wobble and re-form to accommodate the change.

We stand in the backyard with our necks craned, watching them till they disappear in the distance, somewhere above Blue Ridge, I’d guess. Or possibly the Sound.

Jack sighs. “Wasn’t that cool?”

I’m grinning like a very fool. Over a couple flocks of honking geese. And once again, I’m aware that I have a truly wonderful life: geese flying overhead and a son flying indoors to call us out to see them.


On this first Friday of May, I count a few more of the endless gifts:

2520. Blue sky.

2521. Sunshine.

2522. An old man walking his dog.

2523. White plum blossoms clustering on branches overhanging the sidewalk—low enough that I could bury my face in them!

2524. Red tulips.

2525. Pink tulips.

2526. Yellow daffodils.

2527. Purple sweet william.

2528. Bleeding hearts.

2529. Grape hyacinth.

2530. Tiny white lilies.

2531. Blue and pink and white and variegated hyacinth blooming in the neighbor’s front yard—and their succulent scent! Delicious!

2532. Showing the hyacinth to the boys and watching them sniff the petals.


Won’t you please join me in counting the gifts? You can head over to A Holy Experience and join Ann Voskamp’s gratitude community. Or you can just start your own list: write a few things for which you’re grateful in the comments or grab whatever paper is closest and whatever writing utensil you can reach, and start naming and numbering the gifts. It will change your life. (And if you do begin a gift list, would you please let me know?)