“To every thing there is a season…”

CG1

Ah, spring! It is the perfect gift that arrives at the absolute best time every year – just exactly the moment I cannot bear one more day of winter. I found it difficult to put into words why springtime is so very special to me, yet it is exactly so. With spring’s arrival, everything changes – sports and play time both move outdoors, dining al fresco begins, there are more hours of daylight, the trees seem to instantaneously have leaves, flowers blossom, the temperatures are enjoyably moderate, birds return, there are baby animals in the woods and on the farms and, best, frog song – all of which make me feel exuberant and joyful.

“A time to be born.”
Ecclesiastes 3 (i-ii) KJV

CG2

The Wagners

Tristan und Isolde introduced their eight adorable cygnets this week. Huzzah! This is especially wonderful for the Wagners because last spring they hatched only four and, tragically, predators ate two of them. This brood seems to be flourishing beautifully and the advantage of the super-high water levels we’re experiencing is that it will be harder for the predators to poach these kiddos from their parents. A lovely sight, non? To every thing there is a season and this truly is the season for beautiful babies.

Swan1

“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come;
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land…”
Song of Solomon 2 (xi-xii) KJV

Presqu’ile is an absolute delight in May. Spring flowers are everywhere…

All my favourite birds are back and the warblers are a veritable choir, serenading visitors at every turn…

Frog Song

Despite the sweet voices of the birds and the beautiful plumage and adorable babies on display, my favourite sign of spring is the chorus frog. After our long, cold, dark winters have done their best to douse my spirit, I feel enormous joy upon hearing that very first frog song of springtime.

frog 1

When I visit the park during the winter months, I often pause to consider the most improbable survival of frogs: Their tiny bodies hibernating under fallen vegetation – leaves, branches, bark and pine needles – or under rotting logs, asleep beneath the snow and ice, patiently waiting for the spring thaw so that they may be reborn. A simultaneously complex and simple life cycle.

frog 2

On the way into the park, visitors drive through the Pannes which, during the spring, are large ponds. This year, with the crazy-high water levels, they are like small lakes. These semi-permanent wetlands are perfect dwelling locations for frogs. Every year in early spring, the resident chorus frogs begin to “sing” – particularly on the warm, sunny days. It is without a doubt my favourite rite of spring. Scientists characterize frog song as their mating call. I like to think that the Japanese Buddhist priest Nichiren (born 1222) is also right:

“Frogs feed on the sound of their mother’s voice, and if they cannot hear their mother’s voice, they will not grow.”

It is entirely plausible and reasonable to me that young frogs feed on their mother’s voice.

Even though frog song lasts only a few weeks each year, I know that my friends are alive and flourishing throughout the park all summer long, perhaps preparing for their upcoming hibernation. “To every thing there is a season…”

frog 3

This is definitely the season to visit Presqu’ile Provincial Park!

‘Til next time, y’all…

Advertisements

23: My Fulcrum

Fulcrum

ego sum qui sum
I am who I am.
[Thomas Aquinas]

A fortnight ago we observed Earth Day at Presqu’ile. Although this environmental protection initiative dates back to 1970, these 47 years have seen too little effective and lasting change. Part of what we learned on Earth Day is that aftereffects of many manufacturing processes are the most destructive, harmful and lethal to our environment and that one thing we can all do to stave off these effects is to simply buy less. Repair, repurpose and recycle rather than discarding and replacing. It is a concept that has been front of mind in our home since Earth Day. Having completed the minimalist challenge in January, the thought of intentionally choosing to live with less is hugely appealing, much to my own surprise. ego sum qui sum I have always been a shopper extraordinaire.

Since Earth Day, we’ve given a lot of thought to this concept. Cam was on board immediately. Me? Not quite. After much soul-searching (me), we have chosen to do no more shopping for a trial period of six months, 1st May through 31st October. Except, of course, for essentials – food, medication, items needed for unavoidable crucial repairs to our home and vehicles. Nothing else. If we are successful, we might even extend the trial. Can I do it? ego sum qui sum

I Shall Not Want

I am still working my way through my granddads’ notebook. In many ways, the pages I read during the past week or so relate to the idea of minimalism and our hiatus from shopping. The elder wrote a series of sermons based upon the twenty-third psalm. He wrote that the psalmist provided us with the tools we need to chart our path through these turbulent modern times. (His use of the phrase modern times really made me giggle – he had no idea!) These tools include trust, faith, strength, hope, peace, power, confidence, gratitude and contentment. Reading his notes and the final text of his lessons, and then the psalm itself, I realized that this is my fulcrum. I know that I truly have, and will always have, all I need and want. I may not have everything my ego wants me to have but I am well-loved and more than adequately bestowed.

You know, wanting can be a cruel task-master, and I know I am not alone in in facing this dilemma. If only I had ‘x’, my life would be easier; if I only had ‘x’, I would be better dressed; if I only had ‘x’, I could do better work; if I only had ‘x’, my home would be more comfortable, etc., etc., etc. I believe there is a very fine line between being appropriately ambitious and developing an insatiably wanting mind. At this time in my life, most of my wants relate to my photography – coveting faster and better glass. What I learned from my great granddad’s notes and from reading the psalm is the value and virtue of cultivating contentment.

“Find me a fulcrum on which to stand and I will move the universe.”
[Archimedes]

I hope, standing on my fulcrum, I am able to permanently change my mindset.

My Cup Runneth Over

The psalmist seems to be telling us that we already have everything we need; perhaps even more, and that such sufficiency does not come without hardship, even illness. He is teaching gratitude. Despite having been through the valley of the shadow of death (his hardship/suffering), the psalmist writes “My cup runneth over.”. He is not defeated, he is not angry, he feels gratitude and contentment and knows abundance. Enough to share. In writing the twenty-third, he challenges us to know what we want from life, to know the point at which we become content, grateful and ready to share our abundance. My cup runneth over.

Fulcrum

I shall not want. My cup runneth over. I know that want for nothing. I truly know abundance. I am content. I am grateful. I will share.

conclusioni ~ ego sum qui sum

I am who am I. I feel somewhat precariously balanced. Fulcrum. I’m not sure who I am just yet. I am no longer the person I was but nor have I yet become the person I want to be.

’Til next time, y’all…

Interesting note: The twenty-third psalm is widely believed to have been written by King David who, as a young man, worked as a shepherd. The herder’s job is to care for his flock so the depiction of God as a shepherd was a fitting analogy based upon very personal experience.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
(KJV)