Monday, August 07, 2006

Speckled Wood Butterfly

I photographed this little butterfly (scientific name Pararge aegeria) in the quiet garden at Compton Durville. There were hundreds of these lovely, gentle creatures flying under the trees, and milking aphids (yes, that's how they feed!) on the low vegetation...

These, dragonflies and hover-flies were constant companions on my daily walks in the garden. Unfortunately at sunset the biting cleg flies were pretty constant companions too, so I learned to avoid the wooded areas just then. At night, the grounds must have been full of badgers, judging by the evidence, but I was never around late or early enough to see them. Pity - I like badgers. Very pragmatic animals, serious and workmanlike, not to mention good-looking...

There were lots of birds, as well. I tried not to get too interested in them, since I wasn't there for the bird-watching. But I couldn't help noticing how many song thrushes there were. It was good to see them - there are very few around our village for some odd reason.

It's been a week since I came home, and still half of me is trying to remain in that stillness. It's going to be quite a thing, trying to be trusting enough to let God find ways for the stillness to co-exist with the rest of life. The Third Order is not an easy row to hoe, sometimes... Which is why it's vital that we try out, pioneer perhaps, ways to live as Franciscans in everyday life in the 21st century; and particularly perhaps why I seem to be being called to work out, and somehow to communicate, how to live as a contemplative, but not a solitary. So many things appear to become, not easier perhaps, but simpler, in solitude... Yet it was St Francis' own recognition that we must serve, and pray, where we are called to live that led to his founding the Order of Pentients, that later became known as the Third Order.

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