Friday, November 13, 2009

Counterpoint to the Evening

Wednesday evening is practice night for my church choir, of which I’ve been a member for about a year. These days we are gearing up for the annual Lessons & Carols service. It’s exciting because there are always lots of new numbers to sing and it is the choir showcase service. We are also thinking ahead to Christmas Eve service which also has lots of music in it. Our choir director asked if any of us would be interested in doing some group numbers, not exactly solos but still out front and I said count me in. So this Christmas I may be part of a trio singing a medley of carols.

When choir practice was over we had a birthday celebration for anyone who’s birthday is in November and those we’d missed earlier in the year. This is renewing an old tradition among our group that fell into disuse and I think we are all happy to have it back again. Everybody should have their special day. The members who volunteered to sponsor this month’s celebration brought wine, desserts, and some nice crackers, chips, and dips. It was all good. Then we left for the evening.

Outside our sanctuary door there’s a motion activated security light. It’s dark earlier these days so I was glad that it came on as I headed out to my car. But apparently someone in the world wasn’t so happy. As I passed the tree on the corner of the building I heard a sound I’d never heard before. It was a sort of hooting. I stopped and listened and it happened again and again. It was an owl protesting about light disturbing his peace. In all my life I can’t remember ever having heard an owl before, but I recognized it immediately. Perhaps there’s no other bird that sounds like that. Maybe it’s so distinctive that once you’ve been told what an owl sounds like you can’t mistake that sound for any other bird. The moment made me feel very good. To know that nature was out there and active, that a bird I tend to think of as a wilderness creature was on our church grounds, made me aware of how special our sanctuary and grounds are. Whenever I’m on our campus I feel blessed. There’s this feeling that just seems to fill the grounds up, not just the sanctuary. We call ourselves reconcilers and I think that sound served to remind me that we reconcile ourselves to nature too.

The Happiness Project had an interesting post the other day about de-cluttering. It was rules to not follow. In it Gretchen gave Eleven Myths of De-cluttering along with how we should not follow those old beliefs and why. I was surprised to find these out and have to admit that I’m guilty of believing and practicing many of them. Maybe I can try out these new methods and get better results. What do you think? Are you guilty of any of these?

Peace! Hope! & Joy!


Sandi McBride said...

That sounds like such a nice sharing of spirit and makes the birthday boy or girl feel so special! I like that!
I love hearing the owls hooting...lucky you, to finally hear it!

Lee said...

Thank you Sandi. The owl and the birthday celebration did indeed make for a special evening. I cane home with cake to put in fridge.


Stella Jones said...

Love that you heard an owl. I'm not sure if I've ever heard one. We have so many security lights on these days that it must be very confusing for the animals and birds.
Enjoy your singing.
Blessings, Star

Lee said...

Thanks Star, I really loved the experience.


Susan Carpenter Sims said...

I'm always amazed by all the interlacing that occurs through blogging. I was just an hour ago contemplating the concept of reconciliation, before I read your blog.

And another blogger I follow has been recently discussing a conflict in her church and the hope for reconciliation.

I'm consciously working on reconciling my relationship with money right now. (And as I write this, my son is watching a kung fu movie in which the characters are currently discussing money.)

Happiness is another word that keeps coming up in blogs I'm reading (and posts I'm writing.)

I love the way things connect.

murat11 said...

It's wonderful to hear of the owl in our midst. Nice that we are a sanctuary for souls beyond the humans who gather at Rec. I'm always struck by the number of people (not "official" congregants) who walk their dogs through the grounds - a special place for them, too.

Lee said...

Thanks, Paschal. The place does have that special feeling for all. The first time I noticed it I tried to find the edge of it. LOL Happened to stop about the parking lot. With that hoop up that the neightborhood likes maybe we've gotten that feeling stretched to the street. :-)


jsd said...

That's wonderful Lee, all the way around :)

Fletch said...

Hi Lee.

Back to some semblance of 'normality' after the Double-Disaster.

Owls. I've heard 'em many times. Also seen them hunt, and they are absolutely deadly when they've identified their prey! It's the bi-focal alignment of the eyes I think.

Clutter is something else. I fall into the "I may need that some day." category. But it was good to be reminded that most of it can be casually offloaded without causing any distress in our daily lives.

Lee said...

Hi Terry, I'm delighted that your horrible disaster with the computer situation is getting cleared up and you are functioning well once again.

I'd love to see an owl in real life. I've seen them on movies and I know they can be very effective when hunting. Got to see a hawk once. It was beautiful.

I'm still working on the clutter thing. At one time in my life I knew where every piece of paper was on the desk surface's various piles and also what was in each box of my closet. No more. So I need to relearn that knowledge and skill.


San said...

Lee, your owl moment is magical. Yes, a wilderness creature on the church grounds does seem special. Your spiritual community feeds those wild places in your soul, doesn't it?

Oh, I wish I could be there when you sing in the trio...


San said...

Came back to follow the de-cluttering myths link. I'm a mythology buff.

Lee said...

San, I think you're right. There are not only wild places in my heart but sometimes I find them being fed. Anytime that happens it's special.

I'm a mythology buff myself. Glad you found cause for a return visit.


philly5113 said...

Oh wow, such an experience. sounds like such fun.

Deepanjan Ghosh said...

mine was on the 2nd

questionbox said...

I love the owl story.


Thanks for checking on me Lee. I took some time off for Thanksgiving and then after looking at all I have been blessed with, I took more time off to regroup my thoughts and to refresh my blog. Your owl story brought back a memory of an owl that flew over my head once,just a few feet above it,in fact.
He was a huge owl and because of his soft feathers he made no sound at all
Beautiful and unforgettable, unless,of course, you are a mouse running for cover.My best.

San said...

Back looking for a new post. I guess you're busy with work and church and Christmas, Lee.


My word verification is ANTIC. How cool is that?