Sunday, February 10, 2008


I think about a lot of different things, but as life has gotten more complicated, my ability to do focused contemplation for long periods of time is not what it used to be. When I was younger and my life was much simpler, I used to be very good at it -- those were the days when I would/could go for long walks in the woods or by the creek on my own. A dog or a kitty would follow me now and then, but usually I was alone in creation with my thoughts and each time those thoughts took a turn, I had time and the focus to follow the change in direction until I reached the end of the path, or until a new turn could be taken.

Some days I would climb the Red Bud tree in the yard -- it's where I spent a lot of time looking at praying mantis, butterflies, ladybugs, daddy longlegs, or walking stick bugs.

The thing about walking stick bugs is, they are so well camouflaged, I couldn't spot them easily like a butterfly or a lady bug. I had to slow down, usually come to a stop, and maybe even clamber up into a tree to find one. Then I waited to perhaps catch a glimpse of one as it moved slowly along a twig or branch or hoped my powers of observation would help me discover one. Most of the time, I never saw one, so it was a treat when I did.

Working on my goal this Lent is a lot like waiting for one of those elusive walking stick bugs to come into focus. I must slow myself, focus my attention, and wait patiently. I may even face some disappointment along the way when I don't find what I am seeking, but when the wait is over, I will be richly rewarded.

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