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If you look closely, you’ll notice a cypress sapling growing within the fork of a city maple tree, the summer’s anomaly that caught the attention of a dear friend while walking her dog. Because she wanted larger exposure of her experience, she sent it on for my blog.

The genus of maple tree comes from the family Sapindaceae, with one hundred and twenty-eight species; while the cypress tree, from the family, Cupressus, with multiple species. Although an ardent lover of trees, I’ve never studied them. Still, the odds of two differing species sharing the sap of life, constitutes strange beauty that tingles the senses.

If you look even more closely, this photo also evidences Creator God’s handiwork, of which we are a minuscule part; it speaks more trenchantly than words, sourced from mystics that wobble in articulating the Unknowable, from whence comes LIFE—however we understand it.

Mystery surrounds us. It’s always been that way, apart from fleeting glimpses of the ordinary/extraordinary, cherished by my dear friend and shared with us. Such enrichment quickens our faith and trust as we continue trekking the next dark wood for more lessons.

And there will be more glimpses…

Outside my study window, a shivering branch catches my attention: upon it has alighted a plump tree sparrow, its short beak foraging for insects. Upon its sandy-colored head and thin striped tail feathers, the morning sun plays like a child messing with finger-paints: shadows and light kiss. In no hurry, the sparrow’s foraging continues, as also its twittering enlivening my backyard: a microcosm for what occurs in many parts of the world.

But who has time to look? To enjoy, the myriad gifts freely offered in our daily bread? Certainly, matters of extreme urgency had filled much of my earlier life.

Only during Gloucester retreats did my inner chatter cease, and the seascape come alive with the message of Jesus: Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

So the tree sparrow continues carrying the message of feeding. I have only to look out my study window to be filled—and the nourishment is always different.

At 4:00 A. M., I awoke with this supportive dream:

It was suppertime, Paris, France. I walked into a restaurant and recognized a fellow traveler from last year’s tour seated at a table near the entrance. I greeted him, but was unprepared for his enthusiastic response; he had been only an acquaintance. To my surprise, more tourists from that group also entered the restaurant and swelled the camaraderie among us. My new friends filled the lonely fissures in my heart. I felt whole.

My psyche gladdened me with this glimpse of camaraderie: a conjoining of male and female energies, an enlivening that contrasts with my waning physical energies.

The time of the dream, suppertime, alludes to the end of day/time, my present circumstances. The image of Paris, France suggests the Sacred Feminine, the former hub of Christianity with its multiple soaring cathedrals, many of which I’ve visited.

The fellow traveler, in Jungian terms, is a positive Animus figure: the Sacred in the disguise of my new friend. A slow trickle of male/female couples pull up chairs to the table and joins us, more evidence of the Sacred. Still the trekker, I welcome each day’s new sightings from my psyche

This dream supports the loneliness of my individuation, in process for decades. Never am I alone, existentially, and for that I’m grateful.

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