King of the Hill

Last week I shared the Alpha Turkey, my traditional Thanksgiving blog post about the habits of the turkey posse that rides through these parts every year or two.

This week I snapped the fine dude at the top of the page. He’s easily the biggest buck I’ve seen in six-and-a-half years. He’s also very spooky, which explains how he grew to such a majestic size. I worked hard to get the photo before he literally headed for the hills. He’s been outmaneuvering me for ten days.

Two weeks ago I saw the bobcat. He’s a lot faster than I am, and I almost turned myself inside out trying to get a photo. Then the feline chilled on my neighbor’s driveway, taunting me. Bobcats are pretty rare here, so seeing one is quite the coup among strange people (like me) to whom such things are important. I suspect that he knew he was a star.

It’s that time of year. Busy with everything. Writing, cooking, decorating, wrapping, mailing, shipping. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and totally miss the point of the holidays—thankfulness and holiness. Joy. Peace. Grace.

Don’t even get me started on going to the mall.

Keeping myself focused this year is critical. Mother was (actively) dying this time last year, with less than a month to live. I was the Little Dutch Boy putting his fingers in the dyke, trying to stop the carnage. Then Dad died four months later, and I can’t even remember the holidays. There are seasons like last year, in which we do what we must to be fully human, to live in the image of God, the Imago Dei.

As I take the time to see and stalk and photograph these critters who share my world, I want to encourage you to act like that bobcat and chill a little. Reconnect with your natural world and withdraw a little from your daily one. Take time for yourself. Take a walk. Meditate. Read scripture. Let the rest of the world wait a few minutes.

Thankfulness and holiness. Joy, peace and grace to you. May you live in the Imago Dei.

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