Posted November 15, 2013

It’s a little chilly here in Colorado these days. The deciduous trees have lost their leaves, as always the pines hold on for all their worth. The noise of spring and summer babies has quieted in the coolness of autumn.  We are high desert and so our land is arid and dusty dotted with sage and prickly pear. This day, though, it’s wet outside from melted snow that came too early.

I’ve got a new discipline in these days of Seminary, writing, and homeschooling. I’m feeding the birds. Every day whether they need it or not I’ll refill the bird feeders.  It takes so much effort to stop all I’m doing and take that first step out the front door. The icy air greets my effort by drawing me into the open space of need. I pull the lid off the large red tub of sunflower seeds and bury the funnel in abundance.

“Why all the worrying?” I say to the birds, but mostly to myself, “Look at all this provision.”

In just a few minutes the feeders are hung back in the short pinion pines and I’m headed back inside.

But this day a little curly headed blond calls me to follow her.

“Just a few minutes,” she promises. I squelch my mental to do list, and amble along behind her.  She takes me past a spot she calls, “Tall Grass,” which is filled with, well… tall grass. I notice our orange tabby cat, aptly named, “Orange Kitty,” is stalking us.  We duck under the gnarled branches of Rocky Mountain Juniper shedding its skin and stumble onto a metropolis of an ant hill.

“Don’t bother them Mom, “she chides, “They are resting for winter.” And she’s right there isn’t an ant in sight.

After a slip in the mud and a tree branch in the eye we come upon a small cave-ish sort of spot.  The pine trees and bushes are situated in such a way that the branches make something like a room. In this little spot is an old children’s bench, the ruts of its journey have been hardened by summer.

“Hey, you moved the bench here,” I say in a moment of triumphant awareness.

“I moved it here all by myself this spring,” she beams.

“This is a great spot,” I say. “What do you do here?”

“I sit here with God,” she quips and then leads me away.

I follow her back to our house and we put our nose back to the grind stone, but I learned something this day about a child’s need for solitude, quiet, alone, private time with God. I learned something about my own need.

As the seasons of the earth in Northern Hemisphere are quieting down take a cue from creation, of which you are a part, find a quiet, alone, space with God. Maybe it’s a special chair in the sun, maybe it’s a walk to the mail box, or a drive in the car without radio, maybe it’s an old children’s bench under some pines that are evergreen.

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