Miracles dominate the themes of the novel. "Every week end you come until school's out," Mr. Chris says to Marty, "I promise you at least one new miracle." From this exclamation, Marly begins to understand the mixed blessings of life: the annual coming to life of dormant trees is a miracle. Each season furnishes its own special miracles. Spring returns life to plants and brings new life from seeds and animals. Summer affords Marly the time to explore and discover living things that she has never seen before, including foxes. The foxes bring with them their own special miracle: Joe, who once made fun of Marly's desire to preserve the lives of mice and other animals, saves the foxes' lives, revealing his new sensitivity to the sanctity of life. Fall brings with it amazing colors: "Every morning on Maple Hill, Marly woke in the middle of a scarlet and golden miracle." Even this joyous outbreak of colorful leaves must be tempered by the knowledge that another of the region's typically bleak winters will come soon. Yet winter too has its miracles, as when a cardinal comes to Marly's window for the food she has left out to attract birds. Other miracles are personal. When Mr. Chris has a heart attack, Marly learns what she can do for a friend. His maple trees need to be tapped of their spring run of sugary sap or he will not have the money he needs for supplies. She and her family not only tap their own maple trees, they help Mr. Chris's hired hand, Fritz, tap the Chrises' trees.