Thursday, August 23, 2007

Earth Sanctuary

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!


LinguistFriend said...

That has sounded like the very busy end of a summer, but followed by a benign and restorative interlude with your friend. Good luck with your brother.

ms. kitty said...

Thanks, LF. By the way, I have been wondering how your part of Ohio is faring in the floods.

LinguistFriend said...

Our part of Ohio got heavy rains, which disclosed the state of neglect of university buildings, including the roof of our building, a point that had been made to the board of trustees on the preceding Thursday. The most basic part of my research library at work took some minor damage because of a blocked drain and from water flooding in from the roof through an electric conduit. Some of our faculty and students who lived out of town to the south found that they could not go home at times, because their areas or the routes to them were flooded, or could not get to class. Now it is just warm and humid here, but some areas are still flooded.

Mile High Pixie said...

What a wonderful and peaceful place you describe! Good to know such places exist; they often do so just under our modern-world-obsessed noses.

ms. kitty said...

I'm glad to hear you're not underwater, LF, just damp. But it doesn't sound like any fun at all, especially if some of your library took a hit, minor or major. I'm glad it's not worse. Thanks for the update.

ms. kitty said...

Pixie, if you and Guy get a chance and haven't done so already, hike the Tundra Trail at the top of TrailRidge Road between Estes Park and Grand Lake. It is a lovely place, very different from the Earth Sanctuary, but for me offering the same kind of sense of connection to the earth.

cpettis said...

Thanks for the nice comments about your visit to Earth Sanctuary! Hope you can come back soon. Blessings, Chuck Pettis, Earth Sanctuary Founder (