A lovely 24 hour retreat at the Hermitage last night and today, a gathering of spiritual directors for three sessions led by Marlene Kropf on Into the Silence. And last night we participated in the Hermitage's monthly Taize service.
Except for the sessions with Marlene and the worship services, our time was spent in silence. Silence in terms of speech with other humans, that is. I spent an hour last evening, and another this morning, wandering through the woods and fields. It was far from silent. The birds and frogs were greeting this warm spring weather with loud hosannas.
I heard, and in many cases, saw chickadees, hairy (or possibly downy) woodpeckers, a red-bellied woodpecker, crows, redwing blackbirds, robins, cardinals, mourning doves, a rooster, nuthatches, and sandhill cranes. A single crane flew low over the retreat center this morning, not far from the bench where I was sitting and watching birds at the feeder.
I'd like to share some of the sounds I heard -- the flutter of bird wings at the feeders, or the clatter of the sandhill cranes, or the loud chorus of spring peepers on a nearby pond, but there seems to be some hitch in loading that sort of file. So here instead is a memento of something else I enjoyed - being able to spot last year's bird nests in briar patches and bare branches.
I came back home to more warm temperatures, and a tornado watch -- it must be spring. But this same turmoil also makes for some magnificent clouds. I glanced out just before sunset and then had to go outside and watch this light show sail past to the north of us.
"Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"
I've taken on a prayer practice of looking for the moments of light in each day, whether actual or metaphorical, and then writing or posting photos of what I find.