The Wisdom of the Great Horned Owl
Today, the last day of our 30 Days of Seeing, I hit the jackpot! God knows that if he wants to bring me absolute delight all he has to do is let me encounter some cool creature of his within nature. So, this morning, about 7 am, he gave me a great gift! I opened the back door to let Bongo out. It was barely twilight, the morning light still dim. Through the trees in our back yard, I spotted movement—large, broad wings of a bird landing on the limb of a tree.
My first guess was an owl, but I questioned my judgement. I have never seen an owl during the day light hours—only after dark. I took a long, steady look and felt pretty convinced that what I saw had to be a Great Horned owl. I quickly and quietly closed the door, headed for the kitchen, turned out the lights and searched for a better view. There she was, statuesque on a limb, looking huge like a big cat in a tree. (I don’t actually know if it was a male or female--so I'll just say she.)
David came down stairs and together, with binoculars, we watched this wonderful, awesome creature as she preened herself, rotated her head practically 360 degrees, and slept. You want to know another amazing thing? She is still on the same limb! Hasn’t moved all day. Nearly twelve hours later, this archetype of wisdom is perched on the same tree limb upon which she landed when I saw her this morning.
I’ve watched her on and off all day. And, as I often do when I encounter a wonder of nature, I asked God to speak to me through her, to teach me through her. So, here is what I gathered from my day of seeing this rare and wondrous sight:
- Wisdom comes from deliberate rest and keen observation.
- Don’t be too quick to move from where you have landed before you’ve taken in everything there is to see and learn.
- Be circumspect—look around you for life’s clues and opportunities.
Thank you, thank you, God, for owls—especially ones that show up in my backyard! What an exquisite way to end my 30 Days of Seeing experiment. My cup runneth over!
P.S. Brent Bill and I began these sensory experiments as part of our research for a book and workshop called The Art of Faith: Awakening Your Senses to the Wonder of God. We have agreed to wait until after the holidays to begin our next round—30 of Touching. We will keep you posted when we are ready to begin so that you can join us. Thanks to all who have kept this up, even if not every day, some of the days.
P.S.S. Oh, I just have to tell you—SHE’S HOOTING right now. I can hear her: hoot, hoot-hoot, hoooot, hoot. I have goose bumps!!