Practicing Celtic Spirituality - Reflecting With Nature

This past summer, Elizabeth Canham and Loyd Allen both spoke at our first week of the Two Year Academy of Spiritual Formation presented by The Upper Room Ministries.  At one point, I found their lectures overlapping and it led to a time of reflection on the aspects of Celtic spirituality and its recognition of God's presence in nature.  We were instructed to use our imagination to engage with God through creation.

Now before dismissing the use of imagination, consider the poetic nature of the Psalmist and the Song Of Solomon.  Consider too, the songs and guidance of many of modern worship leaders.  The symbols of the Church: grapes, the dove, the whale, a sea shell - all of these call us to use our imagination.

I had wanted for a long time to offer some of my reflections on how I had been meeting God in creation.  The time I was given helped me to write out what significance hunting has played in my life in recent years, especially turkey hunting.  This is not intended to be tongue-in-cheek or silly.  It is part of my journey and what I have learned and experienced...

I am the great bird of spring.  I own the morning, the mid-day and the dusk.  The spring is my time to sing the  praise of the Most High.  My thunderous gobbles echo all the day, silencing those whose praise is heard all the year.

I am cautious with my beauty.  I hide it from all those who casually consider God's creation.  For those who will make the sacrifice, those who will be patient, who will endure, they alone will experience my beauty and my praise.

I am the great bird of spring and I proclaim the new life of arising.  My pagentry and courtship show to all the ability of God to bring new life each year with the celebration of Easter.  Just like the Creator, I am always about but only those who want to see me, to hear me, will be blessed.

I was once taken for granted and my song nearly lost.  Those who cherished my place, who revel in the spring, these made the sacrifice to bring me back.  Today my voice is heard across the land again.

I am the great bird of spring.  My dance and my songs are the sights of spring ushering in it's new life.  Yet, all year I travel in silence, seeking solitude and sustenance.  I wait patiently for the moment in time when I might praise again my Creator with the thundering sound of my voice.

I am the great bird of spring.  I hold high my head for it is a majestic gift.  I display my fan, spread in glorious splendor - given for the pleasure of God.

I do not begrudge those who join me in the dance, in the harvest.  You who speak my language are those who also suffer the hours and grow in patience.  You who give thanks at the harvest - remember that you too, are mortal.  From dust you came, as have I, and to dust you will return.

Share with the world my beauty as best you can.  Be nourished by all that I provide.  But you know that spring is my time, my place and if you come, I will teach you the way of praise and you will learn the way of patience.

I am the great bird of spring.  I am the wild turkey, known across this land but only truly known by those who would enter my sanctuary of spring.


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