Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: March 4, 2005

Evening

I sit and listen to the sound of water dripping from the branches, condensation formed by cold, wet air. No rain, no snow, only stillness and the sound of water hitting wet soil. Not even a whisper of a breeze blows.

I took the dog for a walk this morning as I do everyday. We wander about in good cheer, sans leash. He minds with a whistle or word as well as any trained dog. We walked around until the path led again to the street. I was surprised to hear a delightful song coming from the cedar across from us. I’ve been here long enough to know that it was a steller’s jay, as they are mimics of surprising talent. It sounded almost exactly like the array of whistles and beeps of R2D2, mixed with the occasional phrase of a song bird’s tune.

It was quite a concert this bird put on, and didn’t seem to mind us watching, even nearby. It was a large, plump jay who seemed quite content with the chilly air and the coming spring. I stood and watched for several minutes, then looked down, where I was surprised to see my dog watching the bird as well, with the same expression of interest as I had been showing. He looked up at me, then we both turned and watched the bird some more.

Me and the animals… a person could certainly find worse company.

I didn’t get around to preaching to the jay, though I suspect it would have listened more than some church leaders I’ve known in the past. No, I let it preach to me, and let it preach good cheer on a late winter day.

Evening

I sit and listen to the sound of water dripping from the branches, condensation formed by cold, wet air. No rain, no snow, only stillness and the sound of water hitting wet soil. Not even a whisper of a breeze blows.

I took the dog for a walk this morning as I do everyday. We wander about in good cheer, sans leash. He minds with a whistle or word as well as any trained dog. We walked around until the path led again to the street. I was surprised to hear a delightful song coming from the cedar across from us. I’ve been here long enough to know that it was a steller’s jay, as they are mimics of surprising talent. It sounded almost exactly like the array of whistles and beeps of R2D2, mixed with the occasional phrase of a song bird’s tune.

It was quite a concert this bird put on, and didn’t seem to mind us watching, even nearby. It was a large, plump jay who seemed quite content with the chilly air and the coming spring. I stood and watched for several minutes, then looked down, where I was surprised to see my dog watching the bird as well, with the same expression of interest as I had been showing. He looked up at me, then we both turned and watched the bird some more.

Me and the animals… a person could certainly find worse company.

I didn’t get around to preaching to the jay, though I suspect it would have listened more than some church leaders I’ve known in the past. No, I let it preach to me, and let it preach good cheer on a late winter day.

morning

The fog rolled in this morning and has stayed a while. It is said there might be snow today. The birds and beasts seem to feel it. There is a surprising lack of activity outside, only a squirrel looking down at me from the edge of the roof deciding if the leap to the balcony was worth it. Apparently, the small pile of seed was not convincing.

I’m having a wee bit of trouble finding focus, and realizing in this all ever more deeply how absolutely I am dependent on God for inspiration and continued direction.

Having a lot of self-confidence is generally a good thing… except when there are spiritual lessons to be learned. The stronger the confidence the more it needs to be broken down and refocused rightly heavenward. So, I’m learning constantly.

But for now the sun seems to be shining through the fog, the sky brightened for a moment in slow burst of light… for a moment, it slowly darkens again, and the rain is beginning to come down.

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