Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Reflections from a saunter at Hills Creek State Park

check out the beaver dam behind the saunterers!
I Thoreau-ly enjoyed today’s saunter with old and new friends as we made our way around Hills Creek Lake, pausing to reflect upon something from Henry David Thoreau and to greet and be greeted by wild neighbors along the trail. We watched golden-crowned kinglets with our Tiadaghton Audubon Society binoculars as the tiny birds foraged in the branches just above our heads, heard the monotone call of a red-breasted nuthatch before it descended from the treetops to our eye’s level, felt the curly bark of a yellow birch, and tasted the aromatic wintergreen-flavored twigs of black birch. It was a cool October evening highlighted by Autumn leaves over placid water. It was solitude and community. It was good for mind, body, and spirit. It engaged intellect and emotion. It was good for the heart in more ways than one.

One of the things I appreciate about sauntering in wild spaces is that it invites a kind of personal transformation that naturally flows from the experience. So often in the church growth is encouraged through sermons, studies, and small groups. These are good things. But on the trail the words which are read come alive in the moment, and the Spirit of God nurtures us to take on more of those attributes of Jesus that we cherish and want to embody in community with our wild neighbors and other people along the way.

Suffice it to say that my own pathway for growing as a student of Jesus is literally a trail; and it is one of life’s greatest joys to share it with others.

An excerpt from John Muir read along the trail
Hills Creek Lake
a caterpillar that Elias found along the trail.
Sauntering lakeside
We finished the saunter with the final page of Thoreau's book titled Walking.
An upcoming saunter

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