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Spirit and My Winged Friends – A Reflection

October 22, 2021
Hooded Warbler in Minnesota

The warblers are coming through now. Very hard to identify them all, even with field glasses and a bird book. (Have seen at least one that is definitely not in the bird book.) Watching one which I took to be a Tennessee warbler. A beautiful, neat, prim little thing—seeing this beautiful thing which people do not usually see, looking into this world of birds, which is not concerned with us or with our problems, I felt very close to God or felt religious anyway. Watching those birds was as food for meditation, or as mystical reading. Perhaps better. — A Search for Solitude: Pursuing the Monk’s True LifeThe Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 3: 1952-1960

The warbler in the photo and I spent some time together this past summer while my dad was in rehab in Minnesota. It was one of those moments where I truly felt God’s presence as we walked this particular journey with him. I often feel Spirit’s presence when my feathered friends visit. Especially when our mother’s favorite birds, the Cardinals, visit us and share a love and peace with us which is a balm for our souls.

Denise painted this picture of a pair of cardinals as a gift for me on our Anniversary ❤️❤️
  1. pynkoski2 permalink

    Reminds me of Wendell Berry’s wonderful poem, from his collection, Leavings. Number XVI in the 2005 Sabbath poems section. It begins “I am hardly an ornithologist,/ nevertheless I live among the birds/ and on the best days my mind/ is with them, partaking of their nature/ which is earthly and airy.” And offers, “What man can abide the rule/of ‘the market’ when he hears,/in his waking, in his sleep,/the sound of wings?”

  2. awesome painting. blessings to both of you.

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