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Showing posts from September, 2013

Season of the Owl

I awoke very early this morning, from a combination of aches, pains, and troubled dreams.  Wandering through my house, I could hear very faintly the call of an owl, and despite the cold and the fact that I was wearing only pajamas,  I wandered out onto the back stoop to listen for them.

It was 4:30 A.M. The stars were bright overhead, wearing their winter constellations, with Orion high to the south.  A quarter moon burned to the east, like fire and ice all at once.  My feet were wet with dew, and the hard, roughcast concrete chilled me where I sat, gazing up at the sky.  For a few minutes, the last of the autumn crickets were all I could hear: no cars, no wind, no human noises at all.

Then, off in the blackened woods to my north and east came the territorial call of a Barred Owl, far clearer and louder than it had been indoors.

Silence.  More silence, and then the call again.

And after another few moments, the call came once more... and was answered, with a much nearer owl, so clear …

What's Twenty Minutes?

So I get to thinking, "I should go to a nice retreat at Woolman Hill," and I notice one coming up on deepening worship.

"Great!" I think to myself.  "I should try that!"

And so I read the brochure.  And it reads in part, "What do you do to nurture your spirit? How regular are you in this practice?  If you are attending the retreat, please practice a spiritually nurturing activity for 20 minutes or more each day. If you do not find the time to do so, without judging yourself, notice what was a greater priority."

And so now I'm grumpy.  Because that so-reasonable sounding commitment, of building in a 20 minute daily spiritual practice, is just laughably out of reach for me at the moment.  I would LOVE to have a whole uninterrrupted 20 minutes a day for spiritual practice. But I am coming to understand that there are times I am not going to get it.

There are two kinds of professions in the world, as far as I can make out: those w…