My buddy Guy Wonders over at Cul de Sac Blues was talking about the fauna in his neighborhood. He isn't exactly in an urban wonderland from what I can tell. But he isn't in the backwoods either. Where the wild and civilization meet is often a strife-ridden and violent place. Or a little bit of paradise depending on your perspective.
I've had some nature shock at the new church. At First Church we use the sound of traffic like white noise for meditation. At UUCC there is quiet, and breezes. At First the moon looks really cool when paired with the bell tower and the street lamps. At UUCC the moon is a powerful and palpable, but a lonely luminary presence. At First Church people walk by on the sidewalk with their dogs. At UUCC there's nature. NATURE.
I'm not real nature-fied. I'll fight all day long for wetlands, national parks, and natural habitat preservation. But that fight occurs in my urban home or office. I love to walk. On sidewalks. I love to watch the sky. From my front porch.
UUCC has given me some nature shock. Around UUCC things rustle in the grass. There is much hopping and flying away when my steps approach. Until I learned the way of the grass, I walked through a strong sticky spider web EVERY time I approached the building. And at my first fellowship event, butterflies were flitting about the picnic tables. Emerson would be in heaven. Thoreau would approve. It makes my nose itch.
But I am getting used to it. When I arrive, I close my eyes, relax, and sigh peacefully. When I leave, I look around and smile. Autumn is going to be great over there. But, isn't autumn great everywhere? Outside of First there is a gingko that turns yellow seemingly overnight. I take its picture every year. I will NOT be taking pictures of the hopping mysteries of UUCC, but there will be much sniffing of the air in reverence.
As long as I can still see my car, it is wonderful.