Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How is it with your Soul?

"The soul is like a wild animal - tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient. It knows how to survive in hard places. But it is also shy. Just like a wild animal, it seeks safety in the dense underbrush. If we want to see a wild animal, we know that the last thing we should do is go crashing through the woods yelling for it to come out. But if we will walk quietly into the woods, sit patiently by the base of the tree, and fade into our surroundings, the wild animal we seek might just put in an appearance." 
Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness

Once the echoes of Christmas faded, I made a commitment to my soul. I promised to set aside the first hours of my day...every morning for 40 days. During that time, I would wait patiently, listening for its voice.  It's been 28 days now and I am just learning to quiet my mind, relax in the silence and listen. I'm getting comfortable with myself. And waiting.

Two weeks ago, we noticed deer tracks along our snowshoe trail. "That's the big buck traveling alone," noted my husband. He had seen the tracks periodically over the past two years...tracks noteworthy for their size.  We'd never glimpsed him though. He was elusive and shy. We found the oval pocket, where he slept, just beyond the treeline. He was lingering just out of sight.

As the snow deepened, we worried. We tramped our trail well, so he would have a solid path to travel. We put out feed to supplement his meagre diet of saplings. We cut partially fallen trees, so he could access the lichen on the upper branches.

Sometimes, on our return trek home, we found where he had been on the trail, just after our passing. Like he waited for us to disappear. He was crafty, that one.  Then last Saturday, I caught a quick glimpse. Just a rump and a tail, disappearing. We set up feeding stations.  He found them.

I knew if we tended to him carefully, gave him sanctuary, took care of his needs, he would honour us with his presence. Today, my wild animal made an appearance.

It was worth the wait.

How is it with your soul?

13 comments:

Shelley said...

Oh yes it was certainly worth the wait. What lovely photos! Thanks for sharing your 'quiet time' in the woods.

Carolynn said...

Oh. What a gift! I love brushes with nature like this. *sigh*

I love your intention to be still for 40 days. It would probably serve me well to do the same. Don't see it happening any time soon, though.

deb colarossi said...

Gorgeous. Words, photos.

I usually think of Lent like this. The intention to take a bit of quiet , to listen to other than.

Thinking of you in this.

ELK said...

i would say a work in progress .. your photos and accompanying words are a soothing balm today

nika said...

praying would definitely help you and revive you in ways beyond your imagination. just sharing. i was browsing through different blogs and found yours. have a nice day. :)

One Woman's Journey said...

I do not think I could make it through the journey of this life without my prayer time. Every morning and every evening. Guess that is part of special soul time.

Amy said...

Oh I love those photos! Sometimes being still and quiet is hardest of all ... and yet, like you say, it's always worth it!

What a lovely reminder ...

Maryse said...

All we need is inside us. When we allow ourselves to listen to the silence things tend to fall into place nicely. Great initiative, Deborah. I would not be surprised if you decided to continue it pst 40 days.

Natural Moments said...

I love following fresh tracks where one then comes face to face with their own true Nature and natural and authentic reflection in life.

Stevenw888 said...

Unfortunately I don't believe that we have souls, so I'm a little hard pressed to imagine trying to get in touch with mine for 40 days. If we have souls, does that mean my dog has a soul too? If my dog has a soul, then do the blades of grass in my garden? We are all alive, we share a large percentage of DNA so does that mean we all have souls?

Deborah Carr said...

Stephen88 - I agree with you - it is unfortunate that you don't believe in soul. There is so much about life that we cannot understand or comprehend...that we just have to take on faith.

24h Pfleger said...

Lovely! what a wonderful post indeed.. love it.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

This entry spoke to my soul and heart. This is a practice I have done for years. Can start my day no other way...