Did I spell that right? I meant to imply that 'my wilderness' is false.
Our back porch and deck, on the West and South side of our house is 'my wilderness'. I counted 21 trees that impinge on the West and South side of our house. Most are evergreens--long needle and hemlock. But there are two Sugar Maples, a red maple and a 150 foot high horse chestnut tree I thought was dead and was worried about the cost of removing it, but the bitter winter brought her back to life and she is full of leaves and nuts. Most of the trees around us are 100+ feet tall. This afternoon there were at least two dozen birds in those trees, screaming and dashing about--four or more types: I saw cardinals, robins, chickadees and wild canaries, but I think there were some sparrows in there too and the omnipresent crow or so.
Our back yard has chipmunks in abundance and more squirrels than I want and the occasional ground hog beyond the back yard fence, eating the fermenting mulberries from our next door neighbors bush and getting wasted....A drunk ground hog is a thing to behold.
Plus we have the occasional rabbit and hummingbird, since lots of our flowers are red, and Bern once saw a coyote, or what she thought was one, across the back fence. Plus the insect critters--bumble bees and honey bees in the hundreds of rhododendron blossoms in full bloom. The bumble bees like our dog and he hates them. He is so hairy and curly that after a walk he is a echo-system and the bees are interested. He runs to the back door and wants to go in.
Besides bees, we have spiders. We read the kid's book to our kids about how Spiders are good, and then there is Charlotte, so we let them spin their nests wherever they wish and never disturb them. I kill ants and flies without guilt, but most creatures I leave alone.
So I have my wilderness.
But it could not prepare me for the wilderness of Higganum.
I was there today and walked the labyrinth in the woods behind the parish hall. It was lovingly and spiritually built. It is on a slight slope so you are sometimes walking uphill and sometimes down. plus their are rocks and tree roots on the paths that you must notice and avoid. (One of the things that you need to know about walking a labyrinth is that you need 'focus'. I usually suggest using the Jesus prayer and walking with your breath. But the rocks and roots in this labyrinth insist on 'focus'.....
I was planning for a time in the autumn when I'd offer a Saturday or Sunday workshop in walking the labyrinth and centering prayer--contemplative spirituality. I just need a date certain and we can start letting people know.
So, I'm walking the labyrinth and a huge hawk, wing span four feet or so, flies 8 or 12 or 16 inches over my head. I felt the wind from the hawk's wings on my face. He sat in the nearest tree and stared back at me over his shoulder. Talk about being focused!
I imagine he decided I was either too heavy to snatch away or I wouldn't taste that good. So he eventually flew away, again just over my head.
Have I made a friend or was that a warning?
I suspect the latter.
My back yard has no hawks, not wilderness at all....
(We're leaving tomorrow for Baltimore for a hit of grand-daughters and won't be back until Tuesday. I don't think I'll have time to blog since Josh and Cathy are leaving the twins with us for two days while they go to a wedding in NYC. Tegan, the 18 month old, will be with Cathy's parents, who live in Baltimore. We'll have the twins--4 and 3/4 years old.
Pray for us....)
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