Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Taking some time off for R&R has been a good thing, but a special “viewing” reminded me whose world this really is.

There is a golf course that I both like and can afford in Destin—Seascape. I was playing well, and with three other persons. #18 has water all down both sides of the fairway, with water also on the right side and behind the green—nasty! The “real” water is on the right side.

Directly behind this tee-box is the green for #17. While we were in the fairway waiting to make our approach shots to #17, an osprey flew past us. I’d seen it a few minutes earlier, going back and forth to the top of a tree. This time he flew by with a fish in his mouth—snagged from the lake to the right of #18. We all stopped and pointed. It was really a majestic sight.

Golf courses are artificial constructs, even when (as is sometimes the case) the designer tries to preserve and incorporate natural qualities of the land (water, hills, trees) into his design. This course (and a number of others in the Destin area) post signs that they are being irrigated with “reclaimed water,” not from the aquifer that is the source of the area’s drinking water. Even so, courses cannot properly exist without this system of “faux rain.”

We can (and we did) enjoy the round of golf, and we enjoyed the weather, and we enjoyed the beauty of the nature around us. But the osprey reminded us that much of what we regarded as “nature” was unnatural (except a couple of the places I hit my balls on the front nine—another story for another time). The hunter (and his prey) was the truly natural part of that world. We were the invaders into his domain.

Whenever I get outside, I need to be reminded of this—the raccoons and rabbits and foxes that live in the woods behind the rectory are the real natives of the south end of Our Savior’s land, as are the jays and bluebirds and cardinals and wrens, and even the sparrows. I in the rectory am really the interloper, the invader. I need to be grateful they let me stay near their home. And I need to be more conscious of the fact that I am therefore a guest of sorts, and I should be on my best behavior toward them.

He is risen, even for ospreys and bluebirds and foxes (Romans 8:19-21). Happy Easter Octave Week!

1 comment:

  1. That blessed mood,
    In which the burden of the mystery,
    In which the heavy and the weary weight
    Of all this unintelligible world,
    Is lightened.
    William Wordsworth