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The Minister's Musings -- October 2018

It’s finally October and last night the temperature fell below 70! I slept with my bedroom window cracked open and just before dawn, I was wakened to the sound of crickets. I love crickets! When I lived in Alaska and California, there were no crickets and I missed them terribly. No crickets or fireflies. Can you imagine living without them? But, instead of recognizing that I was hearing real crickets, I fumbled for my iPhone, thinking that someone was calling me. Yes, my ringer is set to the sound of crickets.[Click "Read more..." to continue]


Welcome to the 21st century, where your phone ringer can play music (any song you like if you are willing to pay for it), church bells, jazz guitars, motorcycles, dogs barking, and, will wonders never cease, a telephone. I once set my phone to sound like a dog barking for when my older son called, but the problem was that I rarely answered in time because it sounded too realistic. It took time for me to register that it was not a dog, but my phone! My son thought I was avoiding him, so the bark had to go.

My favorite time of day is an early-morning walk with my two dogs, Zoey and Luzy. Especially when the freshness of a cool morning invigorates. I love watching the heron, the egrets, and the numerous resident ducks while the dogs energetically sniff every inch of the landscape as if it had somehow changed during the night. I’m enjoying the gifts of nature in Gainesville, and I’m completely entertained by the water turkeys or Anhinga. Usually in late afternoon, these fascinating birds settle on the grasses and in the trees surrounding the pond, spreading their wings to dry and congregating with one another. I never tire of watching them!

I’ve been fortunate to have lived in many beautiful places, and with each move there have always been adjustments. When I moved from Seward, Alaska to Berkeley, California I experienced a jarring culture shock. Berkeley was pulsating with some kind of noise 24 hours a day! I couldn’t fall asleep without earplugs for weeks, but after a while I adapted, and the noise didn’t bother me as much. Adapting is a remarkable tool of survival, but what have we lost in our adapting? Everywhere I look, I see people with ear buds or headphones, listening to music, or talking on the phone, even when they are walking in nature. It seems that technology/progress has become both the problem and the solution.

We should resist! The 21st century doesn’t have to mean that we cover our ears, close our windows, and lose our sensitivity to noise and nature. I would like to propose that we schedule UU meet-up times and places where we can share these remarkable moments of grace. Brainstorm some ideas with me!

See you in church!


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