Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wisdom And Compassion

Dear God,

Make us wiser than an owl,
as we tackle today's tasks.

Grant us wisdom and compassion to
share with everyone we encounter.

Thanks God.

Today's Prayer by Sam Miller


Glenn said...

Along the East West Regional Trail, Highlands Ranch - Copyright 2010, Glenn Sackett

Glenn said...

Several subscribers have asked questions about this photo, enough to trigger a few thoughts:
1) These are Great Horned Owl siblings in juvenal plummage. A parent was nearby, leaving and returning a couple times while I was there.
2) They were well hidden in plain sight, in Highlands Ranch Backcountry open space land; many trail users passed by without a clue during the hour I sat quietly observing and photographing them. I was in plain sight just off the trail.
3) It's good to "walk softly and carry a big camera;" usually on a brief sunrise walk I carry only a small high quality camera. This morning I took my serious DSLR with a big lens, which I was using when another trail user saw me. Seeing my serious camera, she stopped to ask if I had seen the owls, which I hadn't. So she gave me general directions to a part of the trail system I had not ever used. So, all because I was carrying a big, serious camera I was given information that changed my plans and headed me off on an unexpected adventure.
4) Somtimes there is a price of some suffering to be paid for such an experience. In this case, dehydration. You see, the informant was on a bicycle, and her nebulous information about the distance involved was sketchy at best. Being on foot, on a rapidly heating summer morning, on a trail with no shade, a cyclist's "little ways beyond a dip in the trail" actually meant more than an hour of hiking up and down several gullies in shadeless sunshine before I found the owls. There was a stream flowing under the branch of the tree the owls were perched, but not fit for my drinking, so by the time I sat for an hour, hiked back another hour to my car, I was working for every step. And it was worth every bit of suffering to have this experience.
5) There are ordinary experiences and extraordinary experiences; there are ordinary photographs and extraordinary photographs. This was an extraordinary experience, and for me, the experience is more important than the photograph. It always has been, because for me, at its highest point of value, photography is a form of meditation, even at the bottom of a gully. A moment like this transcends time. It's like time stops; I stop "doing" photography or hiking, or whatever else there is to do, shifting into a state of "being;" being at one with whatever is there. The Greeks have a special word for this: "Chiros," a word for "time" which is all about the "quality of time." This word stands in distinction to their other word for time, "Kronos," which has to do with precision and measurement of time in a quantitative way.
6) I am blessed to be able to share these moments. If the photograph can pass along to others some of this quality of being fully present to the wonders of creation, then it, too is extraordinary. I hope it does that for you today.