The Call of the Wild


Let the sea and all within it thunder; the world and all its peoples. Let the rivers clap their hands and the hills ring out their joy before YHWH, who comes to judge the earth, who will rule the world with justice and its peoples with equity. ~ Psalm 98:8-9


Though I will always be “from away,” I’m sure that even the most firmly established Mainer has to experience at least a slight chill at the call of the Common Loon. That ethereal, haunting yodel cannot fail to pierce the mundane, inspiring consideration of all things wild. Living in southern New England for most of my adult life, I saw plenty of loons during the winter on the ocean, but it was rare to find one during the breeding season. Thus, when I found myself at the Quabbin reservoir in the spring or summer and heard one singing from the big water while I was walking a wooded trail, it always caught me a bit off guard. The confusion that caused always ended with a joyful reminder that I was in a wonderful wilderness. Now that I live where loons nest on nearly any body of water large enough to support them, I haven’t stopped marveling at them. We humans have not made it easy on them. Between polluting waters and filling them with lead that the birds ingested through the fish they ate, it could be argued that we wanted to rid the world of these flying, swimming works of art.


When we seek to be comfortable, the wild is outside our comfort zone, but when we are trapped in the ordinary, the wild is extraordinary. As we pause to count our blessings, responding to the call of the wild, untamed Spirit can move us to marvel. We might even wander into wonder. The diversity of creation is as magnificent as its bounty. The real trick is being open to receiving the cornucopia of blessing.


Prayer: Wild wanderer, call us from tame travels to joyous journeys and grand gratitude. Amen.

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