Tuesday, June 15, 2010
To the Spirit Brothers and Sisters of the Family we call ULC Seminary. Miss Amy, Mrs. Long, and Reverend Amy Long:
I can be a tad bit offensive, I use the Bible as my source, and tour guide, my Holy Pibby, my source of instruction, and correction. I have not long been with ULC, but long in the tooth, and a student of The Way. Long enough that I think of Miss Amy as of my younger sister. Let it suffice I could be a Young Uncle, to Miss Amy. As I go through some of the Sermons, the posts, I see, I feel the pain, sorrow and grief of so many. Many in the Family of ULC are in crisis. MSW or LCSW I am not. That sort of stuff is too linear for me.
A Medicine Man of the Lakota, Blackfoot and Tuscarora traditions. My internet radio station is Rastamusic.com and a few Alternative Rock stations. I have been called Olde Skool, Hippy, Wacko, Nuts, Crazy, Weird, Strange, but My personal friends call me Lee. For the past dozen or so years my neighbors call me The Kitty Man. I take a growing group of cats with me on walks to, and through a medium size park. Now I do not feed the critters, they do not live with me-they are my friends. We walk, and talk, all the way to the park, and while in the park, and they escort me home. No leashes, these critter children are fee to come and go as they please, whenever they please. If a bird or squirrel catches their fancy, they are free to go and do as they please.
The park is about 20-25 yards from my front door. Arthritis of the DJD type in all of the joints, head to toe. I walk with a noticeable limp, and have to use a cane to get around. I cannot drive anymore, it is too painful to do so. The cats have been walking with long enough when I close the front door I ask each one, would you like to go to the park with me? If I am going to do errands, of stuff like shopping, I always let them know I am going through the park to: the store to get groceries, or to run errands, or to the bus stop, would they like to escort me through the park. Most times they will chip a reply. I tell them constantly to send me the pictures in their mind to me, so I know what they are seeing, saying, or hearing. On the way to greet the Rock Family. Five large boulders about the size of most dining room tables, now this greeting is not just quick Hi rocks how ya doing. It is a formal greeting and inquiry to each rock, and a special greeting for the three smaller Rocks, I tell the kitties they are the Rock children, the largest is Papa Rock, and Momma Rock.
We look over the Rocks, and look for sign of graffiti, or physical damage-for each Rock. The kitties walk around each rock, sniffing, and close pawed touch each Rock t least once- each Rock, every time. Then we look at the lawn, check out is physical well being, and state of dryness. Seems to be very important to the cats, how dry, cool or warn to the touch on the pads of their feet, and each toe. Then we look at condition of the Daycare Center. Next to the Park is a Community College with Family Studies programs, and a Daycare. Weekdays I ask each kitty if they would like to greet the Kids. Sometimes they poke a nose or a paw through the chain link fence to make physical contact with one or more of the children.
Then we check out the Amphitheater, in the park, in the summer months Live Bands play, or Community Theater plays are put on by the Parks and Recreation Department. People rent the space to do Community Activities. Sometime they rent the Public use of the park for things like March of Dimes, or the State Blind or Deaf Schools; both are within walking distance of my front door.
Next it is on to a lookout, at the crest of a small hill. I am from the Northwest, it is a Hill unless it has snow on it, at least 10 months of the year, if it does have snow on it 10+ months it is a Mountain. If it does not, it is a Hill. At the lookout we look down into the lower sections of the Park. Here we talk to the Trees, flowers, birds, squirrels, and water features in the park. Each one independent of the rest. No group therapy here, The Cats and I are friends to all who live in the Park, and call Waterworks Park, their home. Old growth to seedlings. We meet and greet the crows, the finches, the Longnecks, Longnecks is what the Kitties call the Geese. The Park in on a flyway, from Canada to Mexico, Central and South America migratory birds. Some of the birds have told us that with the change in weather, they go to the Southeast, or Southwest USA, or Easter Mexico to winter over. Man it seems likes to evict them by removing their Nesting grounds. The it is on to check out three garbage cans in the park. Sniff, and close paw touch, but only touch the outside, the inside is dirty, and the plastic trash can line doesn’t do much for odor control, at least from the feline perspective. Then it is on to the old growth section. We greet each one as Grandfather, some Grandmother. Then we sniff and check out the flowers, and the general state of the lowers sections of the park. Next we stop and listen, I ask What do you hear? One or more makes a sniff, and a chirp. I ask are the Skateboarders at play here in the park? The park has a section that is dedicated to boarders, Imagine concrete that looks like a cluster of FM wavelengths, inside of a oval and kidney shape area. We listen for other people, dogs, or the wildlife that call Waterworks Park home.
If we come across one of more of the Canine persuasion, the kitties take cover, in the flora/fauna and wait for the dogs to depart. When the pups are a distance, but see-able by the kitties, I say, it is ok, they are gone, come on out. They stay hid until I let them know it is ok to resume the walk up the hill to the Rocks and home-again. About two thirds way up the hill, we ponder resting at a picnic table. Should we stop, they allow me to get seated, then they jump on up to the seat, do a nuzzle, a rub, and jump on to the table top, looking over all that it, all they see and hear. We talk about what we see, what we smell, how the air tastes, and discuss the smells in the air. Talk about the sounds, some of nature, some are man’s doing. When one jumps down onto the lawn, I ask, do you want to go home now, or do we do the trip again? My answer usually comes in the form of a chirp, and a tail in the shape of a Sheppard’s crook, or a cane, in a very feline way-but of course. We talk to the shrubs, the bushes, trees, say goodbye to the birds, the squirrels, and now we are back with the Rock Family.
We sniff, paw and touch each one, to say fare well. We talk and walk past a stone fence, past a driveway. Stop, look, see, and smell, and tell each other what are we seeing, how does the air TASTE, what are each one of hearing. Then past the mailbox, it is on three metal posts. I tell each kitty it is the legs of the mailboxes. One of the kitties at least, gives each leg a snuggle, weaving in and out like a vine on a post. We stop and do it again. Then we are at our driveway, I thank each cat for escorting me to and through the park. I remind each one that it is not so painful, they we should do it again, maybe tomorrow? Depending how each kitty feels. But I must Thank each and every one of you, My Spirit Brothers, and My Spirit Sister, for I come as a Guest. As Miss Amy can attest to, this is much milder than most of my emails to her. No reading, verse, after verse. No exchange of facts about this or that. But in reality have we not been through In the beginning, to Amen in Revelation?
by Rev. Lee Banfield
The Universal Life Church is a comprehensive online seminary where we have classes in Christianity, Wicca, Paganism, two courses in Metaphysics and much more.
Ordination with the Universal Life Church, is free, and lasts for life, so use the Free Online Ordination, button.
The ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials. I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.
Try our new free toolbar at: ULC Toolbar