One of the things that captured my attention as I approached retirement came from an email put out by Sister Joan Chittister (a very outspoken Roman Catholic nun). It read in part, “Life is not made up of crises; life is made up of little things we love to ignore in order to get on to the exciting things in life. But God is in the details. God is what it takes in us to be faithful to them. God is in the routines that make us what we are. The way we do the little things in life is the mark of the bigness of our souls.” The “God is in the details” sounded like an intriguing topic for a photo study – so I have begun. I have taken some close up pictures of flowers and bugs so far; today I came across a spider nest in my side garden (that photo is posted on Face Book). The first photo below, left to right, is one of two nests of babies who have hatched but are still enjoying the warmth of nesting. The second is Mom – or Dad lest I be sexist; the third is the nest of babies scrambling at the awareness of my presence. I do not care for spiders in my home, but am not inclined to dislike them in the great outdoors. All About Spiders says this: “Spiders are beneficial inhabitants of any garden, ecosystem, or home because of their important contributions to biological control of pest insects. Spiders are considered to be the most important terrestrial predators, eating tons of pest insects or other small arthropods every year. Spiders are generalist predators that are willing to eat almost any insect they can catch. They are abundant and found in most habitats. They only need to be left alone!” So I photographed, and then walked away (smile). The fourth picture in the grouping is me effectively “looking up the skirt” of a toadstool – or is a mushroom? – in the lawn. The intricacy of the gills below is quite incredible. It may be that down the road I will start a new “page” on this site called “God is in the Details” – if you have ideas for photos, please let me know. This is fun.
On another topic this afternoon I had a phone visit with a good friend. In the more than thirty minutes that we talked she reminded me of something I have said about “The Curmudgeon”, the man behind the wonderful summer trips I have enjoyed over the past fifteen years, and with whom I will be taking some day trips now that I can. First, you need to know he is not a Curmudgeon – he is instead a thoughtful, fun, caring and sensitive guy who really loves to explore new places. His retirement business – with his 14 person bus doing day trips and transportation services (frequently for senior centers), is not a money maker. His fees are more than reasonable, but he will not be getting rich doing this work. What he’s doing is not work – it is ministry, making it possible for the likes of me and others to go and see and do when we might otherwise not have the opportunity. And recalling this as I conversed with my friend, I wondered, and continue to wonder, what will MY ministry be in the years ahead? Guess I have days 6 and on to figure it out!