"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.
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?