Sunday Services for a Panentheist

Bear and I had a walk like we haven’t had in a while. There was so much to smell. The trail was a mess — snow, packed snow, ice, bare gravel, mud, whatever. We don’t care. I only wanted to go as far along the river and into the slough as I knew I wouldn’t be entering the great cattle litter box that is the Rio Grande Wildlife Area at the moment.

The views were amazing — I took pictures but…

It was truly the first magical hike since I hurt my foot in September. Bear felt it, too, which is the great thing about dogs and Bear in particular. She is capable of entering into my experience which is, I guess, an attribute of the livestock guardian dogs. They are bred to be “tuned in.”

The Rio Grande is still mostly frozen, but a channel in the middle is flowing and breaking up the ice. That was very cool to hear. The sound made me think of Into the Wild. I thought of Chris McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp) and came up with the McCandless Rule of Survival: park your bus on the side of the river from which you came and where you remember there having been a store and a gas station.

A magic hike is my version of a religious experience. Lots of things can interfere with that — lately it’s been apprehension over the foot. Now I know the limitations of that foot and also that I can ignore most of the twinges.

THE moment came when I heard a few geese take flight over the river in a spot where the bank was too high for me to see them. I thought of climbing up the hill then thought, “No, this is perfect, this is ideal. They don’t need me to see them. And, for me, hearing them is enough.” So bear and I watched the bank where we couldn’t see the geese. We tracked their flight — there might have been anywhere from 2 to 4 geese — through their calls and it was lovely. Then the little prayer wafted into my heart directly through my eyes as it does. “I love you so much,” I said, softly to the world, to the light, to the trees, the uneven snow, the geese, the moment, the pure blue sky, the moment. Bear leaned against me, wrapping herself so I am standing in a shallow curve made by her body.

“Thank you for bringing me to this river,” I said softly to the sky. “Thank you for understanding my fucked up knees, and thank you for showing me this world which has been completely new to me.” Bear continued leaning and I pet her ears. “Thank you for bringing me this dog who doesn’t need to hurry and who is such amazing company.” I also thank whatever it is for all the huskies and all the trails we ran. I am again in the timeless embrace of “god.” It’s been a while.

I don’t know how to explain it, but in the gesture of loving me Bear shares my love for everything. I am 100% sure she — as much as a dog needs to pray — prays my prayer with me. We do love it so much.

All the human BS of the last few days retreated into the vast chasm in which it belongs. I have returned to the timeless transience of light, land, water, rock and beast. Thank whatever. ❤

19 thoughts on “Sunday Services for a Panentheist

  1. It is amazing what one moment can do to lift up our spirits and how the ones we care for also care for us. Have a great Sunday.

  2. What a wonderful walk with Bear today! And I’m so glad you found a way to escape the human BS of the week — hopefully that will last for a few days, past Iowa and the next debate and the SOTU!

    • I will probably not engage with either of them, though I would like to hear the rebuttal in Spanish. One of my dreams for my country when I was young was that by the time I was old people would speak two languages — or more — at least at a survival level. My other dreams were globalization, cooperation with other countries economically and for the good of the natural environment, every high school student spending a year studying overseas. ❤

      • I often wish that I had been allowed to take Spanish in school, rather than Latin, French, and German! Your dream of two languages is a good one. Globalization — well I think we’ve moved in that direction, though not necessarily from spending time studying abroad. Interesting dreams for the country!

      • Interestingly many people now learn Chinese and study abroad in China. I thought the language thing would result from international interdependency and I guess in a way it has .

      • Given the surge in trade with China, international study between the two countries makes a lot of sense. I still think Spanish should be a mandatory subject in schools here, particularly along the border!

  3. The connection is wonderful when it creeps up on you from behind and then spins you around to see the wonder! So glad the cares of the week have been kicked to the proverbial curb. It was good to hear that the foot is fine and Bear was able to enjoy the experience with you!!

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