Abundant Living Vol. XVI, Issue 16

“But as for me, I will always have hope . . .” – Psalm 71:14 

We have the good fortune of living in a neighborhood with an abundance of walking-jogging-biking trails nearby, our favorite of which leads into a deeply wooded nature area bordered by a series of small lakes, where a sunrise jog on a spring morning such as there have been recently is, to say the least, a spectacular experience with wild flowers in bloom, sightings of rabbits, squirrels, and an occasional armadillo or coyote – birds, of every sort singing in the trees, ducks and geese enjoying the lakes and ponds.

One point along the path requires crossing a low-water dam that typically has water trickling across separating one small lake from another. Recently we’ve been fascinated by a single goose that seems to always occupy the vicinity near the dam as if he had laid claim to it, that is until we looked across toward a peninsula that juts out about thirty yards up stream where, hunkered down in the tall grass was the female goose obviously nesting on some eggs. So, yes, the gander had laid claim to the territory in order to protect his mate and family-to-be. Then it happened. Just this past Friday there were the goose and gander together wing-to-wing, like young lovers, out for a morning stroll proudly herding their three newly hatched babies. What a sight!

Like many, I’m sure, the confinement of sheltering-in-place, the dark cloud of pandemic lingering above, the nonstop tragic news reports had all begun to take their toll on my usual positive outlook. So, a good dose of nature that spectacular early morning was exactly what the doctor ordered, as they say. I felt revived, renewed and hopeful.

In case you’re unable to escape to nature as I did, may I suggest a few excerpts from Wendell Berry’s poem “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.” “So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. . . Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest. Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. . . Listen to carrion – put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. . . Practice resurrection.” My walk in the woods is what led me back to Wendell Berry’s poem, from which I am reminded, “But as for me, I will always have hope.”

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