It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and I’m sitting in a quiet house with sun streaming in through the windows.  My children are either napping or playing quietly in their rooms, and at least half of the cooking for tomorrow is already done.  There is gratitude here.

I had every intention of sharing a Thanksgiving-type recipe here at some point over the last two weeks.  Then, this morning, I looked up and realized Thanksgiving was tomorrow.  And I had yet to post a holiday-themed anything.  I think that’s okay, though.  I’m sure you’ve had enough of stuffing, pie, sweet potato and turkey recipes.  Lord knows I have.
Instead I’m sharing this photo with you.  I shot this on my trip to St. Simons Island a couple of weeks ago.  We’d gone out on a shrimp boat, and these gulls trailed behind us the entire time.  Ever the opportunists, gulls have learned where they can grab an easy meal.  As the net is raised from the water, they flock en masse waiting to pluck a tasty morsel from the air.  This particular photo was taken as our guide threw a fish overboard – the lucky bird in the bottom right corner caught it in mid-air.  I aimed the camera and fired the shutter, not even waiting to see if it was in focus.  It was a split second, and then I moved on.

It wasn’t until almost a week later, when I was sifting through the hundreds of photos I’d taken, that I even remembered the moment.  As I clicked on the thumbnail, I didn’t expect much from the picture.  Imagine my surprise when I saw that fish grasped in the beak of the gull.  Pure luck, that – no skill involved (unless you count mad reflexes).

As I studied the details of the photo, I was struck by the beauty of the birds.  Usually I avoid seagulls at all costs.  Like pigeons, I tend to think of them as “rats with wings.”  Scavengers, nuisance birds.  But when you see them in flight, as you do above, their grace and skill is evident.  This photo gave me a whole new perspective.

I guess this post follows suit with my last one.  Beauty and grace are found in so many unexpected places.  There are wonderful surprises around every turn – a surprise photo, a new job (!), new friends, new opportunities that at one time seemed impossible.  You just have to be open to them, and perhaps willing to look at them through a different lens to see them for the blessings that they truly are.

I am thankful for the unexpected, and abundant, blessings in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.