My friend Sue and I found the most beautiful place today---the Earth Sanctuary here on Whidbey Island. It is a carefully nurtured but wild space of many acres, with ponds, a peat bog, an osprey nest, and soft paths. Tall basalt columns have been placed in arrangements that invite reverential speculation, small shrines appear in unexpected places, prayer flags line many of the gentle paths, and a walk through the Sanctuary invokes a deep sense of connection with the earth.
An osprey's sharp cries alerted us to his/her nest where young birds awaited a parent's visit. It was almost as if the youngsters and the parent were calling comfortingly back and forth as we stood beneath them on the path and watched the activity overhead----the parent flying back and forth and crying; the youngsters bleating from their aerie. We finally realized that our presence was making them nervous, so we moved on, and the nursery quieted down.
Sue leaves Friday via Amtrak; I'll drop her off at the Seattle station and then hop the ferry for Vashon where I will officiate at a Saturday wedding. We are hoping for good weather, though the reports are iffy. This poor bride has had to contend with a number of hitches in her planning; I hope it all turns out fine, which it probably will, rain or shine.
I'll come back home right after the wedding so I can attend church here (looks like it won't rain here Sunday), and then I'll depart for Portland on Monday, where I'll co-officiate at a memorial service for a beloved member of my former congregation in Portland. Back on Tuesday, unless my brother's health mandates that I stay a little longer so I can see him.
Smooth sailing after that, with little to plan for except the Ingathering and Building Celebration on Sept. 9. Whew!