When asked what I'd miss about Australia if I ever had to live overseas, two things immediately come to mind.
I can't imagine what it would be like not to have ghost gums 'right here' where I can admire them every day.
You can see the photos I took of these narrow limbed, white barked, ghost gums along the bank of the Ross River last month in THIS blog post, or be satisfied here with one of my favourites...
And secondly, Kookaburras.
They are my favourite of all birds, the ones I never tire of listening to or watching. I would truly be displaced if they were not camped aloft the power lines, or perched along my fence, laughing at the world as their gaze sweeps across the view below.
This past week Mr E and I have continued to go downhill with the flu, which has surprised us as we live a intentionally healthy life. Days and nights of pain, congested heads and chest, restless fevers and swollen glands - it kind of saps the life out of a person, and whilst we've been waiting for this to pass I'm afraid I've had some emotional collapses when it all got too much.
You see, my Mum died when I was 3; Nana took over the reins till I was 13, then I looked after her.
By 15 I was homeless, and by 17 I was a mum. For 38 years I've been the one doing the 'looking after' of others.
Then a couple of days ago, weary from being sick, I let the need to have a mum take care of me bring me to tears, and did I ever feel sorry for myself. I had the woes real bad.
I called out to God to care. To show me His care.
Now, we rarely see kookaburras here in town. And they really are incredibly special to me.
On Monday morning I was up before dawn, hot mug of honey lemon tea in my hand, and my Bible open waiting to be read as soon as the sun's first rays came over the horizon to light the dining table.
I was so weary from tossing and turning all night, and the swollen glands and razor throat wouldn't ease. As the sun rose and the blue sky appeared, tears once more pricked at my eyes and the woes returned...but then I heard them...the laughing of kookaburras.
Just outside my front door is a power pole, and right at the top there they were, two beautiful birds, laughing for me...
Grabbing my camera, I sat out on the front porch and just clicked away, my heart bursting at the joy these birds had so suddenly brought to me...
When they flew away a little while later all I could think of was Matthew 10:29-31 ~
"Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."
I knew those kookaburras were there by the hand of God to remind me that He is, was, and always will, be watching over me with love. As awful as I felt, He was right there in it all with me, and He'd carry me through it.
I know that when we are ill and in pain, over time, it wearies us - and I was still caring for Blossom and Mr E (both being sick as well) through my own illness. Having that special moment with the kookaburras meant more to me than I can say, and gave my spirit the lift it needed to keep going.
On Tuesday morning I rose very early again, brewed some lemon tea in the pot, and went to fetch my Bible. As I looked out at the grey clouds looming over the skyline, I let out a little prayer - "Please, may I see them again?"
I turned to get a mug from the cupboard, and was just about to pour my tea when I heard it...the laughing...
One lone kookaburra. Sent for me. With love from my Father.
I'm still sick. In fact, Mr E and I get worse each day. The only thing we can do is let it run its course.
But I am not alone. He cares for me more than many kookaburras.
And He cares for you, too.
PS: If you have never heard a kookaburra laughing, watch THIS short video. It's just a few seconds, so go on...