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”
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”
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”