Discover more from The Rewilded Life
Meditation of a Mammal
What does it mean to be a part of the whole?
My backyard is an ecosystem; a wild of its own. In the winter it is still and dormant, crusted in gray-white frost while life snoozes underground. But when the ice begins to thaw, chipmunks and garter snakes start to peek their heads up from the womb of the earth. Robins nest in the lilac bush and in the garage above the racks holding my children’s scooters. Blue eggs fall, and I retrieve them. Blue eggs hatch, and I worship them: the translucent skin of the fledgling, an icon; the incessant work of the mother, a liturgy.
But death dwells here, too, and I worship at her feet as well. A racoon finds the robin’s nest at night. The dog feasts on an injured baby bunny. I gather my children and we hold burials beside the statue of the Virgin. She watches over fish and fowl, four years’ worth of all our beloveds, devoured by worms beneath her stone feet.
Meanwhile, a fox slips through the picket fence in the wee hours of the morning, a streak of fire scampering over the gate when I open the back door. A groundhog lumbers through the weedy grass to seek his respite beneath the neighbor’s shed. My sons collect snakes like I collect rosaries, a plaything for their busy fingers, each summer bestowing upon the new one the same name as the one from the year before.
The life of the wild things calls to me; teases me; invites me. Time marches on and we are all here today, gone tomorrow. I am merely—majestically—a part of the whole.
Lately I’ve been on these podcasts to talk about Rewilding Motherhood:
Over at Jesuits.org:
We just concluded the third and final Saturday morning Ignatian retreat for moms! It was such a blessing to me personally and I would love to do something similar again in the future. I’m scheming about perhaps leading a virtual marriage retreat with Eric (who is a spiritual director and honestly better than me at all this)… any interest out there???
Jewels I’ve read lately from around the web:
A virtual “author night” with Beth Allison Barr and myself to discuss the experience, failures, and beauty of Christian womanhood! Dr. Barr is a professor of history at Baylor University (my alma mater!) and the author of The Making of Biblical Womanhood. This is sure to be a compelling conversation about modern and historical Catholic and Protestant traditions and the experience of Christian women throughout the ages, and especially today. I am coming ready to learn from Dr. Barr—I hope you’ll join us! Register here.
Oh and if you don't yet have your copy of Rewilding Motherhood, please pick one up at Brazos Press, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Bookshop, or Amazon! And if you have already bought one, remember that leaving a review at your website of purchase makes a HUGE difference.
On a personal note…
We are finally waving the white flag of concession that we are outgrowing our current house. Even though we plan to be done having kids, there are still SEVEN (yes, 7) of us here sharing essentially one bathroom. (There is a half-bath in the basement where our oldest son’s bedroom is.) Beyond the bathroom situation, and the general desire to not be on top of each other 24/7, we feel called as a family to a little bit of land to deepen our sense of “oneness” with creation and hopefully be able to invite others into that too through hospitality and day retreats.
Who knows exactly what it’s meant to look like, but would you mind saying a prayer for us as we wade through the process of discernment? We appreciate it so much!
As always, I am wishing grace and peace upon each and every one of you.
Let’s rock this Monday!