Night comes early now in the northern hemisphere. By 3 p.m. dusk is on the horizon. There is a stillness that descends this time of year on all of creation muting all sounds. The birds gather quietly in the shrubs near the feeder for their evening meal. Most of the trees, except for some of the oaks, have dropped all of their leaves, their naked bodies silhouetted against the twilight sky.
In this silence my senses are heightened. I hear a Cooper’s hawk call in the distance. I am not the only one who notices. Several minutes pass. Suddenly the hawk descends and lands on the small Alberta spruce and shakes the shrub. Sparrows scatter in all directions. I feel in the depths of my being their sudden panic as they frantically fly away to find a more secure cover. One does not escape. The hawk flies away with its evening meal.
I know the terror of being found out; of being shaken free of my covering-like labels of beliefs and gender and economic status, my inconsistencies exposed and threatened. I stand as naked as the trees.
But what of the trees? They shed their covering every autumn and stand proudly, confidently, exposed to the world. They have learned that by releasing their covering this time of year they are less vulnerable. They adapt to the climate that they are experiencing and live according to what is best for them. I gaze upon the maple and sycamore, searching for wisdom.
This is what was revealed:
There is no one way of being throughout all of our time here. Always we must adapt to our surroundings, to the times that we live in, while still remaining true to our core being. I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3; “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Today, for the sparrows, it was a time to flee. For the hawk, a time to feed;tomorrow it will be the sparrow’s turn. And for the trees, this is their time to stand naked in perfect splendor.
May I have the wisdom to know my time and season, and live it in all of its fullness….