Friday, March 18, 2005
Thursday, March 10, 2005
A Hawk's View of the WorldIn the interest of general overall health, and not going out and buying clothes one size bigger (depressing AND expensive), I've been back to walking recently. I'm in the middle of my fourth week of four hours of walking (or other) in a row. Things are (sort of) fitting better, but I certainly feel better, am sleeping better with all this fresh air, etc.
I love going out in weather that drives others inside. Especially rain, snow, wind and cold. Heat, not so much. Which of course explains why I lived in Arizona for 8 years. Not too mention the current St. Louis stay. But I digress. Last Monday I went out for my afternoon walk. Should have checked the wind chill, but I only checked the temp. Silly me. Every five minutes I kept asking myself if I wanted to continue.
When I got to the Des Peres/Lindell intersection (which dead ends into Forest Park( I saw something brown and big and birdlike on the ground. At first I thought it was the wild turkey or pheasants I've seen roaming through Forest Park lately. But as I got closer, I realized it was a real live hawk (I think it was red-tailed) with his late afternoon squirrel snack. I stood watching him for awhile. Then not wanting to scare him, I started to edge my way slowly past. He looked over at me a couple of times, then kept on with his feeding. I realized that if this raptor was content to eat dinner with the cement trucks rumbling by on Lindell, he probably wasn't too interested in me.
It was a powerful experience to see a hawk up close, going about (his/her?) daily business. And a reminder that nature is not obliterated even in an urban setting, but given some greenspace, can thrive. I was exhilirated on the way home (also, frankly, was no longer walking into the wind). I felt privileged to see this bit of wildness, like I'd gotten a glimpse into the heart of creation, even if just for a moment.
There have been many hawk sightings since then, especially on my drive to and from Sikeston this weekend. Also a great blue heron, hanging out in a swampy drainage next to I-55 between Cape and Sikeston. Thanks be to the God of all creatures great and small.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
primate sightingYesterday I had the good fortune to meet Archbishop Ndungane of Southern Africa, who is on a tour of the US, and is spending a couple of days in St. Louis. He said many important things (and strikes me as a wise and savvy individual, with a good sense of humor that twinkles out of him.) The primary focus of the talk was the Millenium Development Goals, and the idea that if everyone in the wealthy nations (that's us) gave .7% of their income, we could substantially wipe out the problems in the developing world.
But the thing he said that struck me most, that gives me hope, is this: (unfortunately it was during a sermon, so I'm probably paraphrasing, as I wasn't taking notes): The Anglican Communion will go on, he said, because it's bigger than Archbishop Akinola having communion with PB Frank Griswold. The Communion is the relationships that already exist and will continue to exist between dioceses, parishes and individuals, and that cannot be broken.
I wanted to stand up and cheer. Of course he's right. We've gotten so focused on the actions of 38 people in the last week, and of a handful of people in the past year or so. We have the Anglican Communion and it will go on (strains of violins swelling here, I know). We have relationships across the communion, even in our blogging, and nobody gets to take that away from us.
Ndungane is working hard to keep the primates focused on what's important--poverty, hunger, child mortality, malaria. It strikes me that someone who was willing to go to prison for his beliefs (he spent 3 years in prison with Nelson Mandela) knows what he's talking about.