I am not here today to discuss the advisability of taking everything that happens in the world personally. It's probably a bad idea, and the number of times I have found myself bitterly muttering "It's so unfair!" at the vagaries of life has undoubtedly worn some unpleasant grooves into my soul.
But that personalness also has its moments.
When I am walking along in the natural world and an animal blesses me with its presence, it feels not just like a gift, but it even feels a little like the glorious, resounding approval of the Universe.
Thank you Universe. I'm so glad you like me.
I like you too.
I have always felt some of this in my ambling through the natural world, but it has become even more pronounced now as I go out picture taking with my camera. This Summer when I saw my first Monarch Butterfly it remained tauntingly out of reach. I would follow the resplendent insects through the neighborhoods in pursuit of one elusive photograph, but ever would they fly on and on. So one day, when a monarch finally landed on some exquisite flower, my heart was as like to burst. Confetti flung from it. I took pictures and felt Royally endowed, complimented, and redeemed.
I soon found many Monarchs to photograph with my long distance, zoom lens. But venturing within 15 feet of any of these wonders would send the butterfly fluttering away into the air. I often wondered what it might be like to put on my macro lens attachment and take super close-up shots of a Monarch, but I figured that with my needing to be within a foot of my subject for such a thing to work out it probably wasn't in my future butterfly photography.
That is until today, when out photographing, a butterfly flew up to me, danced several seconds in the air a few inches from my face, and then plopped down to preen on the cool, petaless flower I'd just been photographing at my hip.
I guess I've been good.
So have you.
After I finished taking ridiculously close pictures of a butterfly's wing, and some bees while I was at it, and a couple of flowers for good measure, I headed off towards home. As I walked I mused on all these things I've been telling you.
And then all of the sudden there were turkeys all around me.
I am grateful.
And so, clearly, is the Universe.