Saturday I journeyed with some 15 Unitarian Universalists from our congregation
to walk the La Chua Trail in Payne's Prairie State Park. This outing was part of our Nature
Spirituality Circle of Life where we gather to support one another in connecting
to life and affirming that all beings belong on this planet. Out of this sense
of belonging we hope to grow our ability to not just welcome the stranger in
our lives, but to work with them in building a be-loving community.
birds and the people were so beautiful!
We beheld a flock of White Pelicans flying through the blue sky showing
off their white grace that could be seen from across the Prairie. We witnessed a Great Blue Heron only a few meters away struggling
to swallow a fair sized gar (fish with very point jaws). Then there was the Red-shouldered Hawk
pouncing on a snake and snacking in front of us. Far in the distance were two
Whooping Cranes, bring out whoops from the people gathered around. So blessed was the day that when a group of
young adults stopped to stare at an American Bittern standing guard nearby, I
smiled to hear them struggle to identify it, considering that is was possibly a
baby Great Blue Heron. Some of the other
birds we say were Osprey, all the usual herons and egrets, Bald-eagles, Yellow
legs, Moorhens, Coots, anhingas, comorants, dowitchers, ducks, hawks of all
kinds, and our beloved Turkey and Black Vultures (to name just a few).
bird that stays in my waking dreams was the Sora. I can't remember seeing one before. This birds
was awkwardly climbing through the trail side vegetation that was near the
water's edge. It seemed so wonderful to
see this small rail so close, close enough that I could see that the bird had
an injured left leg and was limping.
the midst of the beauty, is a deeper truth that is also beauty: where we see
the light of sky and companionship, the wings of death and suffering brush by
our face too, rising, rising, I pray in joy.