Patricia and the beetle

November 2008, I sat in Sacrament Service  between my two ambulatory children, daughter aged eleven years, son aged eighteen.   As the program moved into the blessing and passing of the Sacrament, my mind began its shift from observation to meditation.

Movement atop the empty pew just ahead drew my eye.   A beetle about a quarter of an inch long followed the ridgeline of the pew’s wooden back, rear end waggling as its six legs paddled its body along.   It had a dark gray carapace and a rounded, yellowish head with black eyespots.   Two short antennae sifted the air questioningly. Continue reading “Patricia and the beetle”

The fetish

One of the reasons I moved from Utah County to San Juan County was to provide my oldest son and youngest daughter greater exposure to nature.   Household circumstances have resulted in their being confined to the house more than is natural for children in general but is even more unnatural for children of an outdoors-type like myself.   I wanted them to have a better  chance at the kind of  engagement in the natural world I  enjoyed growing up, a level of  deep  involvement that has provided for me all my life.  

 But it’s been difficult business breaking up their bonds with interior spaces and tempering their fascination with electronic frontiers.   Until recently, many of my attempts at getting them “out there” into the yard and surrounding countryside were met with grim doubtfulness. Continue reading “The fetish”

Bird in the hand

First published at A Motley Vision,  this essay explores the  nature of  stewardship by wondering if  we understand what stewardship is or  if we’ve  merely assumed that we understand.   Are we fully conscious of the needs of other creatures, as good stewards ought to be? Are we imaginative enough to visualize the possibilities of faithful stewardship, which may include providing other species with opportunities for €¦ oh, I don’t know €¦ progression, maybe …  or  perhaps gaining  from them insight that  endows our own progression?

An abridged version of “Bird in the Hand”  was published in 2007  in  Glyphs III,  a regional  anthology containing  writings by local writers and visitors to  southeastern Utah’s  redrock  country  that Moab Poets and Writers publishes every two years.    I’ve written more  about MP &W  here.    

In July 2005 my brother Jim and I threw camping gear into his new Toyota 4Runner and headed for a canyon in the San Rafael Swell. The object of our trip: try out the 4Runner on real four-wheel-drive roads and see petroglylphs at the canyon’s mouth. We arrived at the canyon at dusk and as evening fell  helped each other wrestle up tents in a whipping canyon wind. Continue reading “Bird in the hand”